Exfoliation and supramolecular functionalization of graphene with an electron donor perylenediimide derivative
The liquid exfoliation of graphite to few layered graphene sheets together with the non-covalent supramolecular functionalization of exfoliated graphene by the synthesized N,N′-di(2-ethylhexyl)-1-(N′′′′-methylpiperazin-N′′′-yl)perylene-3,4,9,10-tetracarboxydiimide (Pip-PDI) is reported. The aromatic Pip-PDI has the ability to non-covalently interact with the exfoliated graphene sheets, stabilizing them and preventing their reassembly. On the other hand, the presence of the piperazine moiety on the bay position of the PDI core makes it an ideal electron donor, nicely coupled with the electron accepting exfoliated graphene, hence, forming a novel donor–acceptor nanoensemble, which was characterized by complementary spectroscopic and microscopy techniques. Theoretical calculations predicted the absence of a meaningful charge-separated state within the Pip-PDI/graphene ensemble, which was also proven by time-resolved fluorescence and transient absorption measurements.