Nano Research

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 117–125 | Cite as

Soluble graphene through edge-selective functionalization

  • Zhengzong Sun
  • Shin-ichiro Kohama
  • Zengxing Zhang
  • Jay R. Lomeda
  • James M. TourEmail author
Open Access
Research Article


Thermally expanded graphite was functionalized with 4-bromophenyl addends using the in situ diazonium formation procedure, and after mild sonication treatment in N,N′-dimethylformamide, thin graphene layers were exfoliated from the bulk graphite. These chemically-assisted exfoliated graphene (CEG) sheets had higher solubility than pristine graphene without any stabilizer additive. More than 70% of these soluble flakes had less than 5 layers. Energy filtered transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM) elemental mapping provided evidence of the edge-selective diazonium functionalization with graphene. A majority of the Br signals came from the edges of the CEG indicating that the basal planes were not highly functionalized. The CEG was also characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy.


Edge-selective functionalization graphene energy filtered transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM) chemically-assisted exfoliation 

Supplementary material

12274_2010_1016_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (818 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 340 KB.


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhengzong Sun
    • 1
  • Shin-ichiro Kohama
    • 1
  • Zengxing Zhang
    • 1
  • Jay R. Lomeda
    • 1
  • James M. Tour
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and the Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and TechnologyRice UniversityHoustonUSA

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