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Researchers Add Luminescence to Graphene

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CÓRDOBA, Spain, May 15, 2019 — Researchers from the University of Córdoba have discovered a way to add the quality of luminescence to graphene. The researchers were able to incorporate luminescence into graphene without affecting its other properties, thus safeguarding the functionality of its complex structure. In order to do so, they integrated europium into graphene.

Starting from the same material, three different procedures were used to derive few-layer graphene, multilayer graphene, and graphite, the sheets of which acted as ligands for the grafting of a europium complex. These three materials showed strong red emission under 365-nm UV radiation. The researchers observed the results of the grafting of the europium complex to the graphene sheets using Raman spectroscopy, nanoparticle tracking analysis, and confocal microscopy.

Luminescent materials can emit visible light from energy, a property that makes them useful as photocatalysts and fluorescent tags that can be displayed in biological materials. Now, thanks to new research, luminescence can be added to the long list of characteristics that graphene can provide.
The luminescent graphene could be used in biological material and for analyzing tissue cells. The team believes that the results of its research could extend even further. The use of europium “is just a concept test,” professor César Jiménez-Sanchidrián said.

The study could open the door to the use of a variety of chemical elements that could be combined with graphene to confer new characteristics on it. For example, the integration of certain types of metals with graphene could produce graphene with magnetic properties.

The group will continue to work on this research, with the goal of adding new properties to the list of graphene’s characteristics. In doing so, the team will increase the versatility of this material, which is expected to be a key player in future advances in research, electronics, information technology, and medicine.

The research was published in Chemistry: A European Journal (https://doi.org/10.1002/chem.201900512).  

Published: May 2019
Glossary
graphene
Graphene is a two-dimensional allotrope of carbon consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice pattern. It is the basic building block of other carbon-based materials such as graphite, carbon nanotubes, and fullerenes (e.g., buckyballs). Graphene has garnered significant attention due to its remarkable properties, making it one of the most studied materials in the field of nanotechnology. Key properties of graphene include: Two-dimensional structure:...
Research & TechnologyeducationEuropeUniversity of CordobaMaterialsOpticsgraphene

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