Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cutting graphene with in-situ formed iron (Fe) nanoparticles

Datta et al. (from Johnson group of UPenn) utilizes iron nanoparticles (~15 nm) and the catalytic formation of methane from carbon and hydrogen in the scission of the thin graphene layer. Iron nanoparticles are formed by spraying iron nitrate (Fe(NO3)3.9H2O) onto the graphene and cooking it under reductive Ar atmosphere (Ar + H2). This is an important step in graphene related technology though it very much resembles the 2006 carbon nanotube seeds study (noted for placing Rick Smalley as the first author since it was published soon after his death). In the images, FLG is Few-Layer Graphene and the scale bar is 800 nm.