Friction and conductance imaging of sp2- and sp3-hybridized subdomains on single-layer graphene oxide
We investigated the subdomain structures of single-layer graphene oxide (GO) by characterizing local friction and conductance using conductive atomic force microscopy. Friction and conductance mapping showed that a single-layer GO flake has subdomains several tens to a few hundreds of nanometers in lateral size. The GO subdomains exhibited low friction (high conductance) in the sp2-rich phase and high friction (low conductance) in the sp3-rich phase. Current–voltage spectroscopy revealed that the local current flow in single-layer GO depends on the quantity of hydroxyl and carboxyl groups, and epoxy bridges within the 2-dimensional carbon layer. The presence of subdomains with different sp2/sp3 carbon ratios on a GO flake was also confirmed by chemical mapping using scanning transmission X-ray microscopy. These results suggest that spatial mapping of the friction and conductance can be used to rapidly identify the composition of heterogeneous single-layer GO at nanometer scale, which is essential for understanding charge transport in nanoelectronic devices.