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Synthesis of novel rambutan-like graphene@aluminum composite spheres and non-destructive terahertz characterization

Yang, Zhongbo, Feng, Shuanglong, Yao, Wei, Han, Jiaguang, Wang, Huabin
RSC advances 2019 v.9 no.6 pp. 3486-3492
Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, aluminum, graphene, hydrogen, scanning electron microscopy, vapors
Graphene reinforced Al (graphene@Al) spheres were synthesized using microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition technique in which H₂, CH₄, and Ar were used as the reduced gas, carbon source, and plasma enhancement gas, respectively. The obtained graphene@Al spheres presented a rambutan-like structure and had a graphene shell wrapped on the sphere surface, which was proved by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. The thickness of the graphene shell on the Al sphere is difficult to be characterized by conventional techniques. However, it was successfully measured with a sophisticated terahertz (THz) time-domain spectroscopic technique. To the best of our knowledge, neither have graphene@Al spheres been synthesized before nor has a THz-based technique been exploited to characterize the thickness of a shell structure. Therefore, the present work sheds useful insights on both the rational synthesis and non-destructive characterization of graphene reinforced functional structures.