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Paper   IPM / CMNL / 15513
Condensed Matter National Laboratory
  Title:   Silicon as a ubiquitous contaminant in graphene derivatives with significant impact on device performance
1.  Rouhollah Jalili
2.  Dorna Esrafilzadeh
3.  Seyed Hamed Aboutalebi
4.  Ylias Saberi
5.  Ahmad Kandjani
6.  Suresh Bhargava
7.  Enrice Della Gaspera
8.  Thomas Gengenbach
9.  Ashley Walker
10.  Yunfeng Chao
11.  Caiyun Wang
12.  Hossein Alimadadi
13.  David Mitchell
14.  David Officer
15.  Douglas MacFarlane
16.  Gordon Wallace
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Nature Communications
  Vol.:  9
  Year:  2018
  Publisher(s):   Nature
  Supported by:  IPM
Silicon-based impurities are ubiquitous in natural graphite. However, their role as a contaminant in exfoliated graphene and their influence on devices have been overlooked. Herein atomic resolution microscopy is used to highlight the existence of silicon-based contamination on various solution-processed graphene. We found these impurities are extremely persistent and thus utilising high purity graphite as a precursor is the only route to produce silicon-free graphene. These impurities are found to hamper the effective utilisation of graphene in whereby surface area is of paramount importance. When non-contaminated graphene is used to fabricate supercapacitor microelectrodes, a capacitance value closest to the predicted theoretical capacitance for graphene is obtained. We also demonstrate a versatile humidity sensor made from pure graphene oxide which achieves the highest sensitivity and the lowest limit of detection ever reported. Our findings constitute a vital milestone to achieve commercially viable and high performance graphene-based devices.

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