Hydrogenation-Assisted Graphene Origami and Its Application in Programmable Molecular Mass Uptake, Storage, and Release

SZ Zhu and T Li, ACS NANO, 8, 2864-2872 (2014).

DOI: 10.1021/nn500025t

The malleable nature of atomically thin graphene makes it a potential candidate material for nanoscale origami, a promising bottom-up nanomanufacturing approach to fabricating nanobuilding blocks of desirable shapes. The success of graphene origami hinges upon precise and facile control of graphene morphology, which still remains as a significant challenge. Inspired by recent progresses on functionalization and patterning of graphene, we demonstrate hydrogenation-assisted graphene origami (HAGO), a feasible and robust approach to enabling the formation of unconventional carbon nanostructures, through systematic molecular dynamics simulations. A unique and desirable feature of HAGO-enabled nanostructures is the programmable tunability of their morphology via an external electric field. In particular, we demonstrate reversible opening and closing of a HAGO-enabled graphene nanocage, a mechanism that is crucial to achieve molecular mass uptake, storage, and release. HAGO holds promise to enable an array of carbon nanostructures of desirable functionalities by design. As an example, we demonstrate HAGO-enabled high-density hydrogen storage with a weighted percentage exceeding the ultimate goal of US Department of Energy.

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