In order to expand the range of applications for graphene nanostructures, a number of groups have attempted to introduce dopants via a "bottom-up" approach. For instance, utilizing chemical vapor deposition in the presence of appropriate N- or B-containing precursors, or unzipping N-doped carbon nanotubes to yield doped graphene nanoribbons. The recent precedent of doping graphene sheets directly by low-energy ion bombardment (Nano Lett. 2013, 13(10), 4902-4907 (DOI: 10.1021/nl402812y)) offers a level of doping selectivity that is not possible by other techniques, and would utilize techniques already in place for the microelectronics industry. With such advancements in doping strategies, graphenes are one step closer to being more widely utilized for commercial applications such as electronic devices and rechargeable batteries.
Image reprinted with permission from Ion Implantation of Graphene—Toward IC Compatible Technologies. U. Bangert, W. Pierce, D. M. Kepaptsoglou, Q. Ramasse, R. Zan, M. H. Gass, J. A. Van den Berg, C. B. Boothroyd, J. Amani, and H. Hofsäss. Nano Letters 2013 13 (10), 4902-4907 10.1021/nl402812y