Outstanding electrochemical and mechanical properties are inherent in high-quality graphene - a single-layer network of carbon atoms arranged in regular hexagons. Such graphene is well synthesized by chemical vapor deposition (CVD), which is actively used in its production by Rusgrafen. But in most other cases, graphene is obtained with defects: either the network is leaky (carbon atoms are absent at the vertices of the hexagons), or it contains inclusions of other elements (for example, an impurity nitrogen atom, -O- and -OH groups, etc.). Often they try to get rid of defects, since they spoil the characteristics of graphene. A team of scientists from MIPT, Skoltech and the Joint Institute for High Temperatures of the Russian Academy of Sciences found significant advantages in defective graphene.
They theoretically studied the effect of defects in graphene on electron transfer at the graphene-solution phase boundary. Calculations showed that defects can increase the charge transfer rate by 10 times. By changing the type of defect, it is possible to selectively catalyze electron transfer to a specific class of reagents in solution. The properties of defective graphene discovered by our scientists can be used to create a new generation of electrochemical sensors and electrocatalysts.
Influence of defects in graphene on electron transfer kinetics: The role of the surface electronic structure published in Electrochimica Acta