Stefan Skalsky, John Molloy, Mira Naftaly, Toby Sainsbury, Keith R Paton
Few-layer graphene (FLG) platelets exfoliated directly from graphite are finding a wide range of potential applications, including composites and printed electronics. However, characterisation of the FLG material following incorporation into polymers, including the quality of the dispersion, remains a challenge. Here, we present the use of terahertz time-domain spectroscopy as a potential solution to this challenge which could form the basis of a rapid characterisation tool. The THz refractive index was found to be highly sensitive to the loading of FLG, opening the route to mapping local FLG concentration within a polymer composite sample. By fitting the measured permittivity of the flakes to the Drude–Smith model of conductivity, we also show that the carrier concentrations of these materials are comparable to un-doped chemical vapour deposition produced materials. The ability to measure electronic properties of FLG following processing is important to ensure that defects have not been introduced or chemical functionalisation removed during processing.