Silicon Substitution in Nanotubes and Graphene via Intermittent Vacancies

Heena Inani, Kimmo Mustonen*, Alexander Markevich, Er Xiong Ding, Mukesh Tripathi, Aqeel Hussain, Clemens Mangler, Esko I. Kauppinen, Toma Susi, Jani Kotakoski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
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The chemical and electrical properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and graphene can be modified by the presence of covalently bound impurities. Although this can be achieved by introducing chemical additives during synthesis, it often hinders growth and leads to limited crystallite size and quality. Here, through the simultaneous formation of vacancies with low-energy argon plasma and the thermal activation of adatom diffusion by laser irradiation, silicon impurities are incorporated into the lattice of both materials. After an exposure of ∼1 ion/nm2, we find Si-substitution densities of 0.15 nm-2 in graphene and 0.05 nm-2 in nanotubes, as revealed by atomically resolved scanning transmission electron microscopy. In good agreement with predictions of Ar irradiation effects in SWCNTs, we find Si incorporated in both mono- and divacancies, with ∼2/3 being of the first type. Controlled inclusion of impurities in the quasi-1D and -2D carbon lattices may prove useful for applications such as gas sensing, and a similar approach might also be used to substitute other elements with migration barriers lower than that of carbon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13136-13140
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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