Researchers from the University of Córdoba have discovered a way to add the quality of luminescence to graphene. The researchers were able to incorporate luminescence into graphene without affecting its other properties, thus safeguarding the functionality of its complex structure. In order to do so, they integrated europium into graphene.
Starting from the same material, three different procedures were used to derive few-layer graphene, multilayer graphene, and graphite, the sheets of which acted as ligands for the grafting of a europium complex. These three materials showed strong red emission under 365-nm UV radiation. The researchers observed the results of the grafting of the europium complex to the graphene sheets using Raman spectroscopy, nanoparticle tracking analysis, and confocal microscopy.
The luminescent graphene could be used in biological material and for analyzing tissue cells. The team believes that the results of its research could extend even further. The use of europium “is just a concept test,” professor César Jiménez-Sanchidrián said.
The study could open the door to the use of a variety of chemical elements that could be combined with graphene to confer new characteristics on it. For example, the integration of certain types of metals with graphene could produce graphene with magnetic properties.
The group will continue to work on this research, with the goal of adding new properties to the list of graphene’s characteristics. In doing so, the team will increase the versatility of this material, which is expected to be a key player in future advances in research, electronics, information technology, and medicine.