Electrochemical exfoliation of graphite in quaternary ammonium-based deep eutectic solvents: a route for the mass production of graphane†
We demonstrate a facile and scalable electrochemical approach to exfoliate graphite, which permits in situ hydrogenation of the resultant graphene via a solvated NR4+ graphite compound in quaternary ammonium-based deep eutectic solvents. Spectroscopic studies reveal the presence of sp3 C–H bonds in the hydrogenated graphene. The resulting materials consist of micrometre-sized and predominantly monolayer to few layers thick hydrogenated graphenic flakes. A large band gap (∼4 eV) further establishes the high level of hydrogenation. It is also possible to tune the band gap introduced to the graphene by controlling the level of hydrogenation. The mechanism of the exfoliation and hydrogenation is also discussed.