CARBONNAGe

CARBONNAGe (CARBON NAnostructures research Group) is an interdisciplinary research group working on carbon nanostructures (graphene, nanotube, graphite, diamond-like carbon, etc.) from both the theory and experiment sides.

From an experimental point of view, the synthesis, functionalisation and characterization of carbon nanostructures are studied, mainly for the carbon nanotubes and the graphene.

A part of this research is dedicated to the synthesis of vertically aligned nanotubes on planar substrates and their post-synthesis functionalization using plasma techniques to introduce chemical functions or nanoparticles at the carbon film surface.

The other part is the synthesis of graphene by various techniques such as mechanical exfoliation of graphite, CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) growth involving the decomposition of a gas, ethylene or methane at the metal surface, usually copper, and finally epitaxial growth from the C-terminated n-type SiC(000-1) wafers.

The chemical modification of nanocarbon materials can be achieved, either by functionalization or post-synthesis doping, using different techniques including plasma treatment.

The characterization of samples can be realized by a variety of equipments, including X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS), transmission (TEM) and scanning (SEM) electron microscopies, optical microscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), as well as by nuclear reactions. The group has also access to European synchrotron facilities.

A strong theoretical support is provided, either to understand graphene synthesis and growth mechanisms, to evaluate the role of defects on graphene properties, or for the interpretation of experimental data (STM images, STS data, XPS spectra, resonant Raman spectra, diffraction, transport measurements …). Electronic structure calculations are performed with both abinitio approaches (SIESTA and ABINIT codes) and semi-empirical techniques (tight-binding, recursion and moment methods, Monte-Carlo kinetics simulation). Plasmon excitation and electrodynamics properties of nanostructures are addressed by discrete-dipole approximation and related methods. Finally, the quantum chemical design of carbon nanostructures related to graphene, called nanographenes is studied for their remarkable linear and nonlinear optical properties.

 

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 Fig. 1. Nanostructure flower of a vertically aligned nanotube surface.