According to Graphene Info, a team of researchers worldwide have demonstrated a process in order to modify the structure and properties of graphene. Consisting of researchers from the Harbin Institute of Technology in China, and the INRS in France, they utilitzed a chemical reaction called photocycloaddition in order to modify the bonds in between atoms using ultraviolet light.
“No other material has properties similar to graphene, yet unlike semiconductors used in electronics, it lacks a band gap. In electronics, this gap is a space in which there are no energy levels that can be occupied by electrons. Yet it is essential for interacting with light,” says Professor Federico Rosei of INRS’s Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre.
“The multidisciplinary group of researchers from Canada, China, Denmark, France and the United Kingdom succeeded in modifying graphene so as to create a band gap. Current research is rather fundamental but could have repercussions over the next few years in optoelectronics, such as in the fabrication of photodetectors or in the field of solar energy. These include the manufacture of high-performance photovoltaic cells for converting solar energy into electricity, or the field of nanoelectronics, for the extreme miniaturisation of devices,” emphasizes Professor Rosei.
This new technique could quickly speed up and simplify the process of modifying graphene, allowing for more abundant research.