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Chemistry-A European Journal 2015, 21(49), 17728-17738

Mesomeric Effects of Graphene Modified with Diazonium Salts: Substituent Type and Position Influence its Properties

In the last decade, graphene and graphene derivatives have become some of the most intensively studied materials. Tuning of the electronic and electrochemical properties of graphene is of paramount importance. In this study, six diazonium-modified graphenes containing different functional groups according to the diazonium salt precursor were investigated. These diazonium moieties have a strong mesomeric (resonance) effect and act as either electron-donating or -withdrawing species. Different graphene precursors, such as thermally and chemically reduced graphenes were studied. All the products were characterized in detail by elemental combustion analysis, FTIR spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, high-resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and cyclic voltammetry. Resistivity and zeta potential measurements were consistent with theoretical (DFT) calculations. The results show that chemical modification of graphene by diazotation strongly influences its properties, creating a huge application potential in microelectronics, energy storage and conversion devices, and electrocatalysis.

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