As shown in the figures above, the synthesis of IMG is composed of two steps: reduced graphene oxide reacted with pyridinium salt in DMG solvent, followed by reacting with triethylamine. The corresponding inset shows photographs of 1 mg·ml–1 IMG dispersed and left to stand in DMF and ethanol for more than four months. Data on the right hand side reveal the fluorescence quenching effect of IMG.

The researchers anticipate that the synthesis method will be broadly available commercially due to its easy preparation and wide range of applications in electrochemical and photochemical devices. The group has collaborated with researchers at Nanjing University, China, and hopes that photochemical devices can be prepared by using the hybrid graphene materials.

"This hybrid graphene material has great potential for solar light harvesting applications since you can obtain ~93.4% fluorescence quench efficiency," Cao told nanotechweb.org.

Full details can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.