Spectroscopy and Microscopy of Graphene Oxide and Reduced Graphene Oxide

  • Matthew P. McDonald
  • Yurii Morozov
  • Jose H. Hodak
  • Masaru Kuno


Graphene oxide (GO) is an important material that provides a scalable approach for obtaining chemically derived graphene. Its optical and electrical properties are largely determined by the presence of oxygen-containing functionalities, which decorate its basal plane. This chemical derivatization results in useful properties such as the existence of a band gap as well as emission spanning both the visible and near infrared. Notably, GO’s optical and electrical properties can be altered through reduction, which proceeds through the removal of these oxygen-containing functional groups. However, widely variable behavior has been observed regarding the evolution of GO’s optical response during reduction. These discrepancies arise from the different reduction methods being used and, in part, from the fact that nearly all prior measurements have been ensemble studies. Consequently, detailed mechanistic studies of GO reduction are needed which can transcend the limitations of ensemble averaging.

In this chapter, we show the spectroscopic evolution of GO’s optical properties during photoreduction at the single-sheet level. Laser-induced reduction, in particular, offers a unique and potentially controllable method for producing reduced GO (rGO), a material with properties similar to those of graphene. However, given the complexity of GO’s photoreduction mechanism, microscopic monitoring of the process is essential to understanding and ultimately exploiting this approach.


Graphene oxide Reduced graphene oxide Photolysis Reduction Photobrightening Absorption Emission Absorption coefficient Fluorescence intermittency 



MK thanks the ACS PRF (Type ND 51675) and the Army Research Office (W911NF-12-1-0578) for financial support. JHH thanks CONICET for the international cooperation funds [D979 (25-03-2013)], FONCyT for research grant P.BID2012 PICT-2041, and University of Buenos Aires for grants UBACYT 2015-2017 20020130100643BA and UBACYT 01-w971.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew P. McDonald
    • 1
  • Yurii Morozov
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jose H. Hodak
    • 3
  • Masaru Kuno
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsTaras Shevchenko National University of KievKievUkraine
  3. 3.INQUIMAE—Departamento de Química Inorgánica, Analítica y Química Físca, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y NaturalesUniversity of Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina

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