Nanoscale reduction of graphene oxide thin films and its characterization
Di Fabrizio, Enzo M.
KAUST DepartmentPhysical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Materials Science and Engineering Program
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AbstractIn this paper, we report on a method to reduce thin films of graphene oxide (GO) to a spatial resolution better than 100 nm over several tens of micrometers by means of an electrochemical scanning probe based lithography. In situ tip-current measurements show that an edged drop in electrical resistance characterizes the reduced areas, and that the reduction process is, to a good approximation, proportional to the applied bias between the onset voltage and the saturation thresholds. An atomic force microscope (AFM) quantifies the drop of the surface height for the reduced profile due to the loss of oxygen. Complementarily, lateral force microscopy reveals a homogeneous friction coefficient of the reduced regions that is remarkably lower than that of native graphene oxide, confirming a chemical change in the patterned region. Micro Raman spectroscopy, which provides access to insights into the chemical process, allows one to quantify the restoration and de-oxidation of the graphitic network driven by the electrochemical reduction and to determine characteristic length scales. It also confirms the homogeneity of the process over wide areas. The results shown were obtained from accurate analysis of the shift, intensity and width of Raman peaks for the main vibrational bands of GO and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) mapped over large areas. Concerning multilayered GO thin films obtained by drop-casting we have demonstrated an unprecedented lateral resolution in ambient conditions as well as an improved control, characterization and understanding of the reduction process occurring in GO randomly folded multilayers, useful for large-scale processing of graphene-based material. © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd.