Ultrasensitive gas detection of large-area boron-doped graphene
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112, (47), 14527-14532
Heteroatom doping is an efficient way to modify the chemical and electronic properties of graphene. In particular, boron doping is expected to induce a p-type (boron)-conducting behavior to pristine (nondoped) graphene, which could lead to diverse applications. However, the experimental progress on atomic scale visualization and sensing properties of large-area boron-doped graphene (BG) sheets is still very scarce. This work describes the controlled growth of centimeter size, high-crystallinity BG sheets. Scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy are used to visualize the atomic structure and the local density of states around boron dopants. It is confirmed that BG behaves as a p-type conductor and a unique croissant-like feature is frequently observed within the BG lattice, which is caused by the presence of boron-carbon trimers embedded within the hexagonal lattice. More interestingly, it is demonstrated for the first time that BG exhibits unique sensing capabilities when detecting toxic gases, such as NO and NH, being able to detect extremely low concentrations (e.g., parts per trillion, parts per billion). This work envisions that other attractive applications could now be explored based on as-synthesized BG.