Graphene and its composites with nanoparticles for electrochemical energy applications
Graphene is a two dimensional (2D) planar and hexagonal array of carbon atoms and has been studied extensively as advanced nanomaterials for important technological applications. This review summarizes the recent developments in chemistry, materials and energy applications of graphene, doped graphene and their composites with nanoparticles (NPs). It first highlights the new chemistry used to synthesize high quality graphene. It then outlines the methodologies developed to dope graphene with heteroatoms to modify and control graphene properties. It further describes the general approaches to graphene-NP composites via either direct NP growth onto graphene or self-assembly of the pre-formed NPs on graphene surface. These graphene-NP composites provide some ideal systems for studying synergistic effects between graphene and NPs on catalysis. The review focuses on applications of graphene-NP composites in increasing electrochemical energy storage density and in catalyzing chemical reactions with much desired electrochemical efficiencies.