Tunable Wettability of Graphene through Nondestructive Hydrogenation and Wettability-Based Patterning for Bioapplications

Jangyup Son, Jong Young Lee, Nalae Han, Jongin Cha, Jonghyun Choi, Junyoung Kwon, Sungwoo Nam, Kyung Hwa Yoo, Gwan Hyoung Lee, Jongill Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The wettability of graphene has been extensively studied and successfully modified by chemical functionalization. Nevertheless, the unavoidable introduction of undesired defects and the absence of systematic and local control over wettability by previous methods have limited the use of graphene in applications. In addition, microscale patterning, according to wettability, has not been attempted. Here, we demonstrate that the wettability of graphene can be systematically controlled and surface patterned into microscale sections based on wettability without creating significant defects, possible by nondestructive hydrogen plasma. Hydrophobic graphene is progressively converted to hydrophilic hydrogenated graphene (H-Gr) that reaches superhydrophilicity. The great contrast in wettability between graphene and H-Gr makes it possible to selectively position and isolate human breast cancer cells on arrays of micropatterns since strong hydrophilicity facilitates the adsorption of the cells. We believe that our method will provide an essential technique for enabling surface and biological applications requiring microscale patterns with different wettability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5625-5631
Number of pages7
JournalNano letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 12 2020


  • graphene
  • hydrogenated graphene
  • hydrophilicity
  • surface engineering
  • wettability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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