Multivalent binding motifs for the noncovalent functionalization of graphene

Jason A. Mann, Joaquín Rodríguez-López, Héctor D. Abruña*, William R. Dichtel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


Single-layer graphene is a newly available conductive material ideally suited for forming well-defined interfaces with electroactive compounds. Aromatic moieties typically interact with the graphene surface to maximize van der Waals interactions, predisposing most compounds to lie flat on its basal plane. Here we describe a tripodal motif that binds multivalently to graphene through three pyrene moieties and projects easily varied functionality away from the surface. The thermodynamic and kinetic binding parameters of a tripod bearing a redox-active Co(II) bis-terpyridyl complex were investigated electrochemically. The complex binds strongly to graphene and forms monolayers with a molecular footprint of 2.3 nm 2 and a ΔG ads = -38.8 ± 0.2 kJ mol -1. Its monolayers are stable in fresh electrolyte for more than 12 h and desorb from graphene 1000 times more slowly than model compounds bearing a single aromatic binding group. Differences in the heterogeneous rate constants of electron transfer between the two compounds suggest that the tripod projects its redox couple away from the graphene surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17614-17617
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number44
StatePublished - Nov 9 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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