Graphene is a 2-dimensional honeycomb lattice of sp2-bonded carbon atoms with amazing properties. It is about 100 times stronger than the strongest steel yet more elastic than rubber. Its high electron mobility is 100x faster than silicon. It conducts heat 2x better than diamond, and its electrical conductivity is 13x better than copper. And it absorbs only 2.3% of reflecting light.
Because graphene is so thin, and because it made up on only one element, it does not lend itself to investigation by most analytical instruments. However, two spectroscopic techniques have been proven to be highly useful in characterizing carbon structures including 2-D graphene and the chemical states of graphene.
Raman spectroscopy and Raman imaging have become powerful, noninvasive methods to characterize graphene and related materials. A large amount of information such as disorder, edge and grain boundaries, thickness, doping, strain and thermal conductivity of graphene can be learned from the Raman spectrum and its behavior under varying physical conditions.
See how we use Raman to characterize graphene in this application note.