Synthesis and Characterization of Boron Nitride-Doped Graphene Nano-Sheets
Project Description: The Hosmane laboratory recently published a simple and environmentally
synthetic method for the production of few-layered graphene (Chakrabarti et al. 2011), a form of carbon that is believed to have the potential to replace silicon in many electronic devices. Building on this innovation, we propose to burn boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) along with the magnesium nanoparticles, to see whether BNNTs can be incorporated in the resulting graphene layer structure. The chemical and thermal stability of BNNTs should protect them from oxidation or any other chemical alterations during the synthetic process. We will also explore the use of different forms of nanostructured Mg metal in the synthetic process. The synthetic products will be characterized and thoroughly studied for possible electronics applications using techniques such as Raman spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), X-ray powder diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and solid-state carbon-13 and boron-11 NMR spectroscopy. The synthetic processes are simple enough to be carried out by REU participants with a basic understanding of chemical principles and appropriate training in laboratory safety, since undergraduate researchers in the Hosmane laboratory, including several supported by REU supplemental funding, have already been trained in all of these experimental techniques. Many have gone on to graduate or professional school.