A suitable way to modify the electronic properties of graphene-while maintaining the exceptional properties associated with its two-dimensional (2D) nature-is its functionalisation. In particular, the incorporation of hydrogen isotopes in graphene is expected to modify its electronic properties leading to an energy gap opening, thereby rendering graphene promising for a widespread of applications. Hence, deuterium (D) adsorption on free-standing graphene was obtained by high-energy electron ionisation of D2 and ion irradiation of a nanoporous graphene (NPG) sample. This method allows one to reach nearly 50 at.% D upload in graphene, higher than that obtained by other deposition methods so far, towards low-defect and free-standing D-graphane. That evidence was deduced by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy of the C 1s core level, showing clear evidence of the D-C sp3 bond, and Raman spectroscopy, pointing to remarkably clean and low-defect production of graphane. Moreover, ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy showed the opening of an energy gap in the valence band. Therefore, high-energy electron ionisation and ion irradiation is an outstanding method for obtaining low defect D-NPG with a high D upload, which is very promising for the fabrication of semiconducting graphane on large scale.
Keywords: Raman; UPS; XPS; deuterium; graphane; nano porous graphene.