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Structural Evolution of Reduced Graphene Oxide of Varying Carbon sp2 Fractions Investigated via Coulomb Blockade Transport

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Nanoscience Technology Center, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida 32826, United States
Department of Physics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida 32816-2385, United States
§ School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida 32816-2993, United States
*University of Central Florida, 12424 Research Parkway Ste 400, Orlando, FL 32826. Phone: 407-864-5054. Fax: 407-882-2819. E-mail: [email protected]
Cite this: J. Phys. Chem. C 2013, 117, 50, 26776–26782
Publication Date (Web):November 26, 2013
https://doi.org/10.1021/jp408387b
Copyright © 2013 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    We investigate the structural evolution of reduced graphene oxide (RGO) sheets with carbon sp2 fractions varying from 55 to 80% using low-temperature Coulomb blockade (CB) transport. At 4.2 K, all RGO sheets exhibit a complete suppression of current (CB) below a threshold voltage Vt, the value of which decreased from 3.34 to 0.25 V with increasing carbon sp2 fraction. From the temperature-dependent Vt, we calculate an effective charging energy and individual graphene domain size of 160 meV and 1.34 nm at 55% carbon sp2 fractions, respectively. These values are 20 meV and 4.18 nm at 80% carbon sp2 fractions, respectively. This implies that with increasing reduction, newly formed sp2 domains increase the effective size of the graphene domain. For an applied voltage V > Vt, the current I follows a scaling law I ∼ [(V Vt)/Vt]α where the scaling parameter α increases from 2.11 to 3.40 with increasing sp2 fraction, suggesting that increasing sp2 fraction creates more topological defects on the RGO. Our report provides a much desired insight into the structural evolution of RGO sheets.

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    (1) AFM image of graphene oxide sheets, (2) XPS spectra of RGO sheets for different reduction time, (3) DEP assembly of RGO sheets, (4) average room-temperature resistance of RGO sheets with varying carbon sp2 fractions, (5) temperature-dependent IV characteristics of RGO devices, and (6) temperature-dependent scaling behavior of RGO devices. This material is available free of charge via the Internet at http://pubs.acs.org.

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