ACS nano

Nanowire-Mesh-Templated Growth of Out-of-Plane Three-Dimensional Fuzzy Graphene.

PMID 28549215


Graphene, a honeycomb sp(2) hybridized carbon lattice, is a promising building block for hybrid-nanomaterials due to its electrical, mechanical, and optical properties. Graphene can be readily obtained through mechanical exfoliation, solution-based deposition of reduced graphene oxide (rGO), and chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The resulting graphene films' topology is two-dimensional (2D) surface. Recently, synthesis of three-dimensional (3D) graphitic networks supported or templated by nanoparticles, foams, and hydrogels was reported. However, the resulting graphene films lay flat on the surface, exposing 2D surface topology. Out-of-plane grown carbon nanostructures, such as vertically aligned graphene sheets (VAGS) and vertical carbon nanowalls (CNWs), are still tethered to 2D surface. 3D morphology of out-of-plane growth of graphene hybrid-nanomaterials which leverages graphene's outstanding surface-to-volume ratio has not been achieved to date. Here we demonstrate highly controlled synthesis of 3D out-of-plane single- to few-layer fuzzy graphene (3DFG) on a Si nanowire (SiNW) mesh template. By varying graphene growth conditions (CH4 partial pressure and process time), we control the size, density, and electrical properties of the NW templated 3DFG (NT-3DFG). 3DFG growth can be described by a diffusion-limited-aggregation (DLA) model. The porous NT-3DFG meshes exhibited high electrical conductivity of ca. 2350 S m(-1). NT-3DFG demonstrated exceptional electrochemical functionality, with calculated specific electrochemical surface area as high as ca. 1017 m(2) g(-1) for a ca. 7 μm thick mesh. This flexible synthesis will inspire formation of complex hybrid-nanomaterials with tailored optical and electrical properties to be used in future applications such as sensing, and energy conversion and storage.

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