Boron, Nitrogen Doped and Co-Doped Graphene on Cu (111): a DFT+vdW Study

by L. Ferrighi, M. Trioni and C. Di Valentin

J. Phys. Chem. C 2015, Volume 119 (11), Pages 6056–6064                View at Publisher

The electronic properties of free standing and Cu supported pristine, boron doped, nitrogen doped, and co-doped graphene have been studied by means of Density Functional Theory (DFT) with the vdW-DF2-C09x functional. The effects of substitutional chemical doping, metal support, lattice parameter strain and their eventual interplay have been investigated. We find that only boron doped graphene strongly interacts with the copper substrate, due to chemical bonds between the boron atom and the underlying metal. The binding energy and charge transfer from Cu are also highly enhanced compared to both pristine and nitrogen doped supported graphene. The BN co-doped system behaves similarly to pristine graphene with a weakly physisorbed state and a small charge transfer from Cu. However, the presence of the non-metal dopants makes the co-doped sheet extremely tunable for redox purposes, with the boron site acting as an electron acceptor and the nitrogen site as an electron donor.