This article describes an in situ method of nucleating gold or palladium nanoparticles in the presence of ethylene glycol as a reducing agent, while simultaneously reducing graphene oxide (GO) to graphene.
Understanding energy transfer mechanisms in graphene derivatives is strongly motivated by the unusually interesting electronic properties of graphene, which can provide a template for the creation of novel nanostructured derivatives. From a synthetic point of view, it is highly attractive to envision being able to synthesize pristine graphene from precursors such as graphene oxide (GO). Although this goal may be challenging over large length-scales, it is possible to generate regions of graphene at the nanoscale, confirmed by Raman spectroscopy or other methods. In the current project, the Au nanoparticles aided in spectroscopic characterization by both quenching fluorescence, allowing the graphene D and G bands to be quantified, and yielding a surface enhancement of about two orders of magnitude. Researchers observed the excitation profile (488–785 nm) of the surface enhanced Raman spectrum (SERS) of graphene with Au nanoparticles adsorbed on the surface. Both the D and G bands displayed a resonance at approximately 593 nm (2.09 eV). This resonance may be interpreted as a combination of the plasmon resonance at 548 nm and a likely contribution from charge transfer as well. In addition, researchers observed a stiffening of the G band compared with that of graphene. The mechanism of the SERS, whether plasmonic or charge transfer-based, enables insight into the electronic pathways available to the graphene–nanoparticle system. Project results are discussed in the context of several existing studies of graphene-based nanostructure derivatives. (publisher abstract modified)
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