Atmospheric oxygen binding and hole doping in deformed graphene on a SiO₂ substrate

Nano Lett. 2010 Dec 8;10(12):4944-51. doi: 10.1021/nl1029607. Epub 2010 Nov 11.


Using micro-Raman spectroscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy, we study the relationship between structural distortion and electrical hole doping of graphene on a silicon dioxide substrate. The observed upshift of the Raman G band represents charge doping and not compressive strain. Two independent factors control the doping: (1) the degree of graphene coupling to the substrate and (2) exposure to oxygen and moisture. Thermal annealing induces a pronounced structural distortion due to close coupling to SiO2 and activates the ability of diatomic oxygen to accept charge from graphene. Gas flow experiments show that dry oxygen reversibly dopes graphene; doping becomes stronger and more irreversible in the presence of moisture and over long periods of time. We propose that oxygen molecular anions are stabilized by water solvation and electrostatic binding to the silicon dioxide surface.