Edge functionalisation of graphene nanoribbons with a boron dipyrrin complex : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Nanoscience at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand
Chemical modification can be used to tune the properties of graphene and
graphene nanoribbons, making them promising candidates for carbon-based
electronics. The control of edge chemistry provides a route to controlling the
properties of graphene nanoribbons, and their self-assembly into larger structures.
Mechanically fractured graphene nanoribbons are assumed to contain oxygen
functionalities, which enable chemical modification at the nanoribbon edge.
The development of graphene nanoribbon edge chemistry is difficult using
traditional techniques due to limitations on the characterisation of graphene
materials. Through the use of a chromophore with well-defined chemistry, the
reactivity of the edges has been investigated. Small aromatic systems were used to
understand the reactivity of the boron dipyrrin Cl-BODIPY, and with the aid of
spectroscopic and computational methods, the substitution mechanism and
properties of the compounds have been investigated.
The synthetic procedure was then applied to graphene nanoribbons. Results
from infrared and Raman spectroscopy studies show that edge-functionalisation of
graphene nanoribbons with BODIPY was successful, and no modifications to the
basal plane have been observed.