Synthetic routes contaminate graphene materials with a whole spectrum of unanticipated metallic elements

Colin Hong An Wong, Zdeněk Sofer, Marie Kubešová, Jan Kučera, Stanislava Matějková, Martin Pumera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


The synthesis of graphene materials is typically carried out by oxidizing graphite to graphite oxide followed by a reduction process. Numerous methods exist for both the oxidation and reduction steps, which causes unpredictable contamination from metallic impurities into the final material. These impurities are known to have considerable impact on the properties of graphene materials. We synthesized several reduced graphene oxides from extremely pure graphite using several popular oxidation and reduction methods and tracked the concentrations of metallic impurities at each stage of synthesis. We show that different combinations of oxidation and reduction introduce varying types as well as amounts of metallic elements into the graphene materials, and their origin can be traced to impurities within the chemical reagents used during synthesis. These metallic impurities are able to alter the graphene materials' electrochemical properties significantly and have wide-reaching implications on the potential applications of graphene materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13774-13779
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Sept 23

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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