A team at the Goethe University in Germany have developed a new class of organic luminescent materials, via the targeted introduction of boron atoms into the molecular structures of graphene. The new compound features an intense blue fluorescence, and could be useful in OLEDs.
Sections of graphene’s molecular structure, which looks like a honeycomb, are called nanographenes (or Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)). For a long time, efforts were focused on affecting the properties of nanographenes by chemically-manipulating their edges, However, recently it has become possible to modify their inner structure, as well, by embedding foreign atoms into the carbon network.
By doping with boron, the fluorescence colour of the nanographenes shifts into the blue spectral range. Additionally, their capacity to transport electrons is significantly improved. Importantly, the exponents are not sensitive to air and moisture.
The team anticipates that materials such as the synthesised graphene flakes will be particularly suitable for use in portable electronic devices.