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Nanoscale 2011, 3(5), 2256-2260

Electrochemistry of folded graphene edges

There is enormous interest in the investigation of electron transfer rates at the edges of graphene due to possible energy storage and sensing applications. While electrochemistry at the edges and the basal plane of graphene has been studied in the past, the new frontier is the electrochemistry of folded graphene edges. Here we describe the electrochemistry of folded graphene edges and compare it to that of open graphene edges. The materials were characterized in detail by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, high-resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry. We found that the heterogeneous electron transfer rate is significantly lower on folded graphene edges compared to open edge sites for ferro/ferricyanide, and that electrochemical properties of open edges offer lower potential detection of biomarkers than the folded ones. It is apparent, therefore, that for sensing and biosensing applications the folded edges are less active than open edges, which should then be preferred for such applications. As folded edges are the product of thermal treatment of multilayer graphene, such thermal procedures should be avoided when fabricating graphene for electrochemical applications.

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