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Siegfried Eigler: Controlled Oxo-Functionalization of Graphite Leading to Graphene and Functionalized Graphene

posted 13 Jun 2014, 06:56 by Mette Lund Meisner
S. Eigler, Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy and Institute of Advanced Materials and Processes (ZMP), Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Dr.-Mack Str. 81,90762 Fürth, Germany.

Graphene is exactly one layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice. Its large scale synthesis can be achieved by oxidizing natural graphite. Introduced oxo-functional groups make graphene water soluble, however, over-oxidation of the C-framework must be prevented, because structural defects are permanent and therefore, electronic properties can not be recovered by the removal of functional groups. We recently developed a new method to prepare almost intact graphene oxide (ai-GO) that bears very few structural defects with a density of defects as low as 0.01%. Since the framework of ai-GO is intact, oxo-functional groups are located on both sides of the basal plane and the contribution of functional groups at edges of defects and flakes play a minor role. Therefore, ai-GO is the ideal material to investigate chemical transformations at the basal plane. We found that the C-framework of ai-GO is thermally stable up to 100 °C and found that the framework is stable against acids and even base under controlled reaction conditions, while functional groups are already transformed. Functional groups are hydroxyl-groups, epoxy-groups as well as organosulfate groups with the latter at a concentration of up to one organosulfate on 30 C-atoms. These organosulfate groups were used to introduce azide groups by a controlled substitution.

Siegfried Eigler received his PhD in organic chemistry from the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in 2006 under the guidance of apl. Prof. Dr. Norbert Jux. Subsequently he conducted basic research in Berlin on electrically conductive polymers for the DIC Corporation and in 2008 he started the evaluation of the properties of GO as project leader. In 2011 he became a lecturer at the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy and a research associate at the Institute of Advanced Materials and Processes at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Erlangen-Nürnberg and started his habilitation. His research focuses on the defect free synthesis, structure evaluation and controlled functionalization of GO to establish a fundamental level of knowledge.