Trends in Carbon, Oxygen, and Nitrogen Core in the X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy of Carbon Nanomaterials : A Guide for the Perplexed

Sami Sainio*, Niklas Wester, Anja Aarva, Charles J. Titus, Dennis Nordlund, Esko I. Kauppinen, Elli Leppänen, Tommi Palomäki, Jessica E. Koehne, Olli Pitkänen, Krisztian Kordas, Maria Kim, Harri Lipsanen, Miran Mozetič, Miguel A. Caro, M. Meyyappan, Jari Koskinen, Tomi Laurila

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
89 Downloads (Pure)


Successful deployment of carbon nanomaterials in many applications, such as sensing, energy storage, and catalysis, relies on the selection, synthesis, and tailoring of the surface properties. Predictive analysis of the behavior is difficult without detailed knowledge of the differences between various carbon nanomaterials and their surface functionalization, thus leaving the selection process to traditional trial-and-error work. The present characterization fills this knowledge gap for carbon nanomaterial surface properties with respect to chemical states and functionalization. We present an overview of the chemical trends that can be extracted from soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) spectra on an extended set of nonideal carbon nanomaterials as a function of sp2 bonded carbon and bond ordering. In particular, the surface chemical state, the presence of long-range order in the carbon matrix, and a qualitative estimation of the amount of oxygen and nitrogen and their respective functional group formation on the material surface, together with the detailed material fabrication parameters, are reported. The results expand our understanding of carbon nanomaterial functionalization, which can support material selection in practice, provided that the specifications of the application are known.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-988
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number1
Early online date24 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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