Chemical vapor deposited (CVD) graphene is nanopatterned using a spherical block copolymer etch mask. The use of spherical rather than cylindrical block copolymers allows homogeneous patterning of cm-scale areas without any substrate surface treatment. Raman spectroscopy was used to study the controlled generation of point defects in the graphene lattice with increasing etching time, confirming that alongside the nanomesh patterning, the nanopatterned CVD graphene presents a high defect density between the mesh holes. The nanopatterned samples showed sensitivities for NO2 of more than one order of magnitude higher than for non-patterned graphene. NO2 concentrations as low as 300 ppt were detected with an ultimate detection limit of tens of ppt. This is the smallest value reported so far for non-UV illuminated graphene chemiresistive NO2 gas sensors. The dramatic improvement in the gas sensitivity is believed to be due to the high adsorption site density, thanks to the combination of edge sites and point defect sites. This work opens the possibility of large area fabrication of nanopatterned graphene with extremely high densities of adsorption sites for sensing applications.
Nano Research, 2014, Vol 7, Issue 5, p. 743-754
Graphene; Gas sensor; Nitrogen dioxide; Nanopatterning; Defects