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Hybrid graphene and graphitic carbon nitride nanocomposite: Gap opening, electron–hole puddle, interfacial charge transfer, and enhanced visible light response

By Aijun Du, Stefano Sanvito, Zhen Li, Dawei Wang, Yan Jiao, Ting Liao, Qiao Sun, Yun Hau Ng, Zhonghua Zhu, Rose Amal and Sean C. Smith

Abstract

Opening up a band gap and finding a suitable substrate material are two big challenges for building graphene-based nanodevices. Using state-of-the-art hybrid density functional theory incorporating long-range dispersion corrections, we investigate the interface between optically active graphitic carbon nitride (g-C<sub>3</sub>N<sub>4</sub>) and electronically active graphene. We find an inhomogeneous planar substrate (g-C<sub>3</sub>N<sub>4</sub>) promotes electron-rich and hole-rich regions, i.e., forming a well-defined electron–hole puddle, on the supported graphene layer. The composite displays significant charge transfer from graphene to the g-C<sub>3</sub>N<sub>4</sub> substrate, which alters the electronic properties of both components. In particular, the strong electronic coupling at the graphene/g-C<sub>3</sub>N<sub>4</sub> interface opens a 70 meV gap in g-C<sub>3</sub>N<sub>4</sub>-supported graphene, a feature that can potentially allow overcoming the graphene’s band gap hurdle in constructing field effect transistors. Additionally, the 2-D planar structure of g-C<sub>3</sub>N<sub>4</sub> is free of dangling bonds, providing an ideal substrate for graphene to sit on. Furthermore, when compared to a pure g-C<sub>3</sub>N<sub>4</sub> monolayer, the hybrid graphene/g-C<sub>3</sub>N<sub>4</sub> complex displays an enhanced optical absorption in the visible region, a promising feature for novel photovoltaic and photocatalytic applications

Topics: 030700 THEORETICAL AND COMPUTATIONAL CHEMISTRY, 100700 NANOTECHNOLOGY, Scanning Tunneling Microscopy, Total Energy Calculations, Hexagonal Boron Nitride, Augmented Wave Method
Publisher: American Chemical Society
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1021/ja211637p
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:58933
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