The many faces of Graphene
as chemical platform
What is, exactly, graphene?
While we often describe graphene with many superlative adjectives, it is difficult to force this (superlative) material within a single chemical class.
Graphene typical size is atomistic in one dimension of space, and mesoscopic in the others two. This provides graphene with several, somehow contrasting properties. Graphene can be can be patterned, etched and coated as a substrate. Though, it can also be processed in solution and chemically functionalized, as a molecule. It could be considered a polymer, obtained by bottom-up assembly of carbon atoms, but it can be obtained from top-down exfoliation of graphite (a mineral) as well. It is not a nano-object, as fullerenes or nanotubes, because it does not have a well defined shape; conversely, it is a large, highly anisotropic, very flexible object, which can have different shapes and be folded, rolled or bent to high extents.
In this presentation, we will discuss the state of the art and possible applications of graphene in its broader sense with a particular focus on how its “chemical” properties, rather than its well-known electrical ones, can be exploited to develop original science, innovative materials and new technological applications.
He is now group leader of the Nanochemistry lab in the Institute for Organic Synthesis and Photoreactivity of National Research Council (CNR Italy).
His main research interests are in the self-assembly of innovative materials and their nanoscale electrical characterization with Scanning Probe Microscopy.
He is coordinator of two EU projects dedicated to the development of new graphene-organic composites for microelectronics using supramolecular chemistry. He is member of the scientific committee of EUROGRAPHENE project, and one of the nine proposers of the GRAPHENE FLAGSHIP initiative.