Boron-doped Graphene: High Capacity and Rate Capability for Anodes

The material of the future is here! Boron-doped Graphene (B-G) has been developed as an anode material for lithium-ion batteries. Studies show how boron-doping can assist in altering structures to provide applications in photovoltaics, catalysis and biology: “Doping graphene with boron: a review of synthesis methods, physicochemical characterization, and emerging applications”.

Further, It can store more charge in less space than any other known materials, and it also can be charged at a higher rate than current graphite technology. With these qualities, B-G will revolutionize how we power our computers, phones, cars, and homes.

Planet Boron

SIGNIFICANCE OF RESEARCH

According to research findings in PNAS  graphene’s gas-sensing ability could be dramatically improved by including dopants in its lattice. Experimental progress in boron-doped graphene has shown that large-area, high crystallinity BG sheets can be controlled grown and revealed their electronic characteristics at the atomic level. 

Graphene containing boron doping could increase the sensitivity to detect toxic gases (e.g. NO 2 These results will open new doors for the development of high-performance sensors capable of detecting trace amounts molecules. Other fascinating properties can also be derived from large-area BG sheets that are as synthesized.

POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS

Heteroatom doping can be used to alter the electronic and chemical properties of graphene. Boron doping, in particular, is expected to cause a p-type (boron),-conducting behavior to pristine graphene. This could be useful for a variety of applications. 

However, experimental progress in atomic scale visualization of large-area boron doped graphene sheets (BG) sheets and the sensing properties is still limited. The research paper in PNAS describes controlled growth of high-crystallinity, centimeter-sized BG sheets. 

To visualize the atomic structure of boron dopants and their local density, scanning tunneling microscopy is used. Spectroscopy is also used. 

It seems that BG acts as a p type conductor. A unique croissant-like feature can be observed in the BG lattice. This is due to the presence of boron carbon trimers within the hexagonal lattice. It is also demonstrated that BG has unique sensing capabilities for detecting toxic gases such as NO 2 and NH 3. This allows it to detect very low concentrations (e.g. parts per trillion, parts/billion). This work suggests that there are other potential applications.

Thermal reduction with boron doping 

Thermally reduced graphene oxide with boron doping (BT-rGO) or without boron doping (T-rGO) is prepared by the thermal reduction of exfoliated graphite in a furnace at 1100 °C for 30 min. The two types of electrodes show similar specific capacities.

Gas detection of large-area boron-doped graphene

The ultrasensitive gas detection of B-G is demonstrated by comparing its response to that for a commercial carbon monoxide detector. In contrast with CNTs and graphene nanoparticles (GNPs), large area B-G is more sensitive to CO than O(gas) because of the high density of boron.

Ultrasensitive sensors from boron-doped graphene

Boron-doped graphene (B-G) are synthesized by simple hydrogen induced reduction technique using boric acid as a boron precursor. This has a more uneven surface due to the smaller binding distance of boron compared with carbon. This unique property is responsible for the high sensitivity and response that B-G shows towards CO gas.

Detection of biomarkers and resistance to fouling

Further, boron-doped graphene has been shown to exhibit good sensitivity in detecting disease biomarkers such as proteins, and it also exhibits resistance towards fouling. Boron doped diamond electrodes has been shown to have a higher sensor response towards the detection of glucose.

Boron-doped graphene for oxidation of benzyl alcohol to benzaldehyde

Finally, boron-doped graphene has been shown to be efficient in catalyzing gas phase oxidation of benzyl alcohol, which is an important industrial process that produces benzaldehyde. It also exhibits high stability for long periods of operation without the addition of any extra metal catalyst.

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