Nano Research

Article Title

Hole-doping of mechanically exfoliated graphene by confined hydration layers


graphene, non-contact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM, KPFM), liquid–solid interface structure, electronic transport in nanoscale materials and structures


By the use of non-contact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM) and Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM), we measure the local surface potential of mechanically exfoliated graphene on the prototypical insulating hydrophilic substrate of CaF2(111). Hydration layers confined between the graphene and the CaF2 substrate, resulting from the graphene’s preparation under ambient conditions on the hydrophilic substrate surface, are found to electronically modify the graphene as the material’s electron density transfers from graphene to the hydration layer. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations predict that the first 2 to 3 water layers adjacent to the graphene hole-dope the graphene by several percent of a unit charge per unit cell.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press