Fluorescence from graphene oxide and the influence of ionic, π π interactions and heterointerfaces: electron or energy transfer dynamics
2D crystals such as graphene and its oxide counterpart have sought good research attention for their application as well as fundamental interest. Especially graphene oxide (GO) is quite interesting because of its versatility and diverse application potential. However the mechanism of fluorescence from GO is under severe discussion. To explain the emission in general two interpretations were suggested, viz localization of sp2 clusters and involvement of oxygeneous functional groups. Despite this disagreement, it should be acknowledged that the heterogeneous atomic structure, synthesis dependent and uncontrollable implantation of oxygen functional groups on the basal plane make such explanations more difficult. Nevertheless, a suitable explanation enhances the applicability of the material which also enables the design of novel materials. At this juncture we believe that given the complexity in understanding the emission mechanism it would be very useful to review the literature. In this perspective we juxtapose various results related to fluorescence and influencing factors so that a conclusive interpretation may be unveiled. Apparently, the existing interpretations have largely ignored the factors such as self-rolling, byproduct formation etc. Vis-a-vis previous reviews did not discuss the interfacial charge transfer across heterostructures and the implication on the optical properties of GO or reduced graphene oxide (rGO). Such analysis would be very insightful to determine the energetic location of sub band gap states. Moreover, ionic and π-π type interactions are also considered for their influence on emission properties. Apart from these, quantum dots, covalent modifications and nonlinear optical properties of GO and rGO were discussed for completeness. Finally we made concluding remarks with outlook. © the Partner Organisations 2014.