The aniline-to-azobenzene oxidation reaction on monolayer graphene or graphene oxide surfaces fabricated by benzoic acid
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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:372 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-372Published: 2 September 2013
The oxidation of aniline to azobenzene was conducted in the presence of either monolayer graphene (EG) or graphene-oxide-like surface, such as GOx, under ultra-high vacuum conditions maintaining a 365-nm UV light exposure to enhance the oxidation reaction. The surface-bound products were investigated using micro Raman spectroscopy, high-resolution photoemission spectroscopy, and work function measurements. The oxygen carriers present on the GOx surfaces, but not on the EG surfaces, acted as reaction reagents to facilitate the oxidation reaction from aniline to azobenzene. Increasing the aniline concentration at 300 K confirmed that the exchange ratio from the aniline to the azobenzene was enhanced, as determined by the intensity ratio between the aniline- and azobenzene-induced N 1 s core-level spectra. The work function changed dramatically as the aniline concentration increased, indicating that the aniline on the GOx surface conveyed n-type doping characteristics at a low coverage level. A higher aniline concentration increased the p-type doping character by increasing the azobenzene concentration on the GOx surface. A comparison of the oxidation reactivity of aniline molecules on the EG or GOx surfaces revealed the role of the oxygen carriers on the GOx surfaces in the context of catalytic oxidation.