Boron and nitrogen doping of graphene via thermal exfoliation of graphite oxide in a BF3 or NH3 atmosphere: contrasting properties
The fabrication of graphenes doped with electron withdrawing/donating elements can be realized through the synthesis procedures reported in this paper. Doping of the graphenes occurs during the thermal exfoliation step of graphite oxide in the presence of the dopant containing gas (BF3 or NH3). The materials are extensively characterized by high-resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, prompt gamma-ray activation analysis and Raman spectroscopy. Their electrical and electrochemical properties related to heterogeneous electron transfer rates and oxygen reductions are investigated. The doped materials display significant differences in their electronic properties where graphenes doped by electron donating dopants exhibit the largest conductivity as compared to those doped by electron accepting dopants. The scalable method reported here is able to successfully implant B and N into the graphene lattice and hence presented important future implications for the production of these materials on an industrial scale.