Graphene has been shown to exhibit superior properties attractive for potential applications as 'building blocks' in various energy-related devices and many other nano- or micro-electronics. For most of the applications, controlled functionalization of graphene sheets is essential for the region-specific connections of individual graphene sheets into hierarchically-organized multi-dimensional functional systems. This award supports travel for research collaboration between senior participants and students at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU, Cleveland) and Tsinghua University / Beijing Institute of Technology (Beijing, China) on the asymmetric functionalization of the opposite surfaces of graphene sheets with different chemical reagents for self-assembling. The objective is to design and prepare asymmetrically-modified graphene sheets and their self-assembled multifunctional materials with precisely-controlled two-dimensional and three-dimensional architectures useful for energy-related applications.
An additional benefit from the research collaboration is to create an education and research training environment where students (graduate and undergraduate) from participating institutions work together on the transfer of materials science to functional devices for energy-related applications.