Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2022, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (1): 2012080.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB202012080

Special Issue: Graphene: Functions and Applications

• REVIEW • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Progress in Surface Charge Transfer Doping of Graphene

Lai-Peng Ma1,2, Wencai Ren1,2,*(), Hui-Ming Cheng1,2,3   

  1. 1 Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China
    2 School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Science and Technology of China, Shenyang 110016, China
    3 Shenzhen Geim Graphene Center, Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute (TBSI), Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, Guangdong Province, China
  • Received:2020-12-29 Accepted:2021-01-26 Published:2021-02-03
  • Contact: Wencai Ren
  • About author:Wencai Ren. Email:
  • Supported by:
    the National Key R & D Program of China(2016YFA0200101);the National Natural Science Foundation of China(51325205);the National Natural Science Foundation of China(51290273);the National Natural Science Foundation of China(51521091);the Chinese Academy of Sciences Program(ZDBS-LY-JSC027);the Chinese Academy of Sciences Program(XDB30000000);the Chinese Academy of Sciences Program(KGZD-EW-303-1);the Chinese Academy of Sciences Program(KGZD-EW-303-3);the Chinese Academy of Sciences Program(KGZD-EW-T06);the Liaoning Revitalization Talents Program(XLYC1808013)


Graphene has shown great promise in the development of next-generation electronic and optoelectronic devices owing to its atomic thickness and extraordinary electrical/optical/thermal/mechanical properties. Surface charge transfer doping is an important strategy to modulate graphene's electrical and optical properties. Compared with other doping methods, surface charge transfer doping shows distinct advantages in several aspects such as the minimized negative impact on the carrier mobility without disrupting the graphene lattice, wide range and precise control over the doping concentration, and highly efficient treatment processes without using high-temperature or ion implantation. Therefore, it is necessary to develop strong and stable surface charge transfer dopants to improve the electrical and optical performances of graphene, advancing its potential application in electronics and optoelectronics. For more than a decade, efforts has been devoted to developing diverse surface charge transfer p- and n-type dopants, including acids, gases, transition metals, alkali metals, metal chlorides, metal oxides, organics containing electron-donating/withdrawing groups, ferroelectric organics, and carbon-based materials, which serve as a wide range of ways to modulate the properties of graphene. Recently, remarkable progress has been made in realizing heavy and stable doping by surface charge transfer. In this review, we summarize the research status of surface charge transfer doping for graphene and its application in electronic and optoelectronic devices by focusing on the doping strength and stability. Initially, we survey the typical surface charge transfer doping mechanisms and widely used characterization measures, discussing their advantages and limitations. We then review the recent progress in the development of strong p- and n-type surface charge transfer dopants for graphene. For example, heavy p- and n-doping in graphene has been achieved by intercalation doping with metal chlorides and alkali metals, respectively. A large-area graphene film with stable p-doping was also realized. Of particular interest, organics are promising materials for developing emerging dopants with high structural tunability and diverse functions. We also introduce novel stable dopants and effective strategies for improving the ambient/thermal/solvent stability of typical dopants. Then, we devote a manuscript section to advances in high-performance optoelectronic devices using doped graphene electrodes with superior performances, focusing on graphene-based touch screens, organic light-emitting diodes, and organic photovoltaics. In this area, graphene-based flexible light-emitting devices have demonstrated advantages over typical tin-doped indium oxide (ITO) devices in terms of overall efficiencies. Finally, we discuss the challenges faced in developing state-of-the-art surface charge transfer dopants with future perspectives.

Key words: Graphene, Doping, Charge transfer, Carrier concentration