Controlled assembly of SiOx nanoparticles in graphene
Defects in graphene can be employed for shaping the properties of graphene, such as enhanced chemical activity and degraded electrical charge transport. Controlling the defects may allow us to precisely tune these properties and facilitate the fabrication of hybrid graphene structures. Here, we first demonstrate the controlled assembly of non-metal SiOx nanoparticles induced by graphene etching, thus leading to the formation of lateral heterostructures from SiOx patterns and graphene. The etching process is purposely introduced on graphene for the formation of two-dimensional fractal and hexagonal holes, which serve as templates for the evolution of SiOx patterns. Through tuning of the graphene etching conditions, a series of novel SiOx patterns can be controllably formed. The etching-induced assembly of SiOx nanoparticles is also clearly evidenced to be an indicator for visualizing grain boundary in graphene, yielding a superior platform for sensing applications.