The unambiguous determination of the chemical functionality over graphene oxide (GO) is important to unleash its potential applications. However, the mapping of oxygen functionalities distribution remains to be unequivocally determined because of highly inhomogeneous non-stoichiometric structures and ultra-thin layers of GO. In this study, we report an experimental observation of the spatial distribution of oxygen functional groups on monolayer and multilayer GO using AFM-IR, atomic force microscopy coupled with infrared spectroscopy. Overcoming conventional IR diffraction limit for several micrometers, the novel AFM-IR reaches high spatial resolution ∼20 nm and could detect IR absorption on ∼1 nm thickness of monolayer GO. With nanoscale chemical mapping, the distribution of different oxygen functional groups is distinguished with AFM-IR over the GO surface. It allows us to observe that these oxygen functional groups prefer to sit on the fold areas, in discrete domains and on the edges of GO, which gave more insights into its chemical nature. The determination of the position of functional groups through precise imaging contributes to our understanding of GO structure-properties relations and paves the way for targeted tethering of polymers, biomaterials, and other nanostructures.
- Chemical functionality
- Spatial distribution