Metal free graphene based catalysts: A review

Delrae Haag, Harold H. Kung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


Graphene, a two dimensional, single-atom thick, periodic structure composed entirely of aromatic carbon atoms, and graphene oxide, a highly oxidized form of graphene, are relatively new materials with incredibly interesting chemical and mechanical properties. These materials have already demonstrated their potential importance in the future of nanotechnology, while their application as catalysts is beginning to emerge. Because of its high surface area and/or tunable electrical properties, graphene and graphene oxide have been widely explored as catalyst supports for metal nanoparticles. Recently, graphene oxide has been shown to be able to function as metal-free catalyst for a variety of chemical transformations that typically are catalyzed with precious metals or under very harsh conditions. Additionally, the variety of oxygenate functional groups on graphene oxide makes it an attractive platform to tether other catalytically active groups (e.g. amines). The development of new heterogeneous metal-free catalysts using graphene oxide could lead to "greener" methods for a variety of chemical transformations of interest to the chemicals and other industries. This review explores some of the recent advances that uncover the potential of graphene and graphene oxide for use in metal-free heterogeneous catalysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)762-773
Number of pages12
JournalTopics in Catalysis
Issue number6-9
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Graphene
  • Graphene oxide
  • Metal-free catalysis
  • Nano-catalysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


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