Wettability of graphene, water contact angle, and interfacial water structure

Eunchan Kim, Donghwan Kim, Kyungwon Kwak, Yuki Nagata, Mischa Bonn, Minhaeng Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding the details of water interacting with graphene is essential for various applications, such as water desalination, energy storage, and catalysis. However, the hydrogen-bonding structure of the water at the graphene-water interface has not been fully understood. Vibrational sum frequency generation (VSFG) spectroscopy is suited to elucidate the water structure at graphene-water interfaces. With varying numbers of graphene layers or tuning the doping level of a single monolayer, the interfacial water structure differs substantially. Specifically, as the number of graphene layers increases, water molecules with non-H-bonded, dangling OH groups become increasingly apparent. The fraction of dangling OH groups inferred from the VSFG spectrum correlates with the water adhesion energy of graphene. This observation suggests that VSFG could be an incisive technique for measuring the water adhesion energy on any spatially confined interface where the water contact angle cannot be measured. We anticipate that VSFG spectroscopy will shed light on the wettability of low-dimensional materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1187-1200
Number of pages14
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May 12

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Institute for Basic Science ( IBS-R023-D1 to M.C.) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government ( MSIT ) ( NRF-2020R1A5A1019141 to K.K.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.


  • SDG7: Affordable and clean energy
  • VSFG
  • WCA
  • interfacial water structure
  • vibrational sum frequency generation spectroscopy
  • water contact angle measurement
  • wettability of graphene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Materials Chemistry


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