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Chemistry-A European Journal 2011, 17(38), 10763-10770

Electrochemistry at Chemically Modified Graphenes

Electrochemical applications of graphene are of great interest to many researchers as they can potentially lead to crucial technological advancements in fabrication of electrochemical devices for energy production and storage, and highly sensitive sensors. There are many routes towards fabrication of bulk quantities of chemically modified graphenes (CMG) for applications such as electrode materials. Each of them yields different graphene materials with different functionalities and structural defects. Here, we compare the electrochemical properties of five different chemically modified graphenes: graphite oxide, graphene oxide, thermally reduced graphene oxide, chemically reduced graphene oxide, and electrochemically reduced graphene oxide. We characterized these materials using transmission electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, high-resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and cyclic voltammetry, which allowed us to correlate the electrochemical properties with the structural and chemical features of the CMGs. We found that thermally reduced graphene oxide offers the most favorable electrochemical performance among the different materials studied. Our findings have a profound impact for the applications of chemically modified graphenes in electrochemical devices.

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