Anion Intercalation into Graphite Drives Surface Wetting

Athanasios A. Papaderakis, Andinet Ejigu, Jing Yang, Amr Elgendy, Boya Radha, Ashok Keerthi, Anne Juel, Robert A. W. Dryfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The unique layered structure of graphite with its tunable interlayer distance establishes almost ideal conditions for the accommodation of ions into its structure. The smooth and chemically inert nature of the graphite surface also means that it is an ideal substrate for electrowetting. Here, we combine these two unique properties of this material by demonstrating the significant effect of anion intercalation on the electrowetting response of graphitic surfaces in contact with concentrated aqueous and organic electrolytes as well as ionic liquids. The structural changes during intercalation/deintercalation were probed using in situ Raman spectroscopy, and the results were used to provide insights into the influence of intercalation staging on the rate and reversibility of electrowetting. We show, by tuning the size of the intercalant and the stage of intercalation, that a fully reversible electrowetting response can be attained. The approach is extended to the development of biphasic (oil/water) systems that exhibit a fully reproducible electrowetting response with a near-zero voltage threshold and unprecedented contact angle variations of more than 120° within a potential window of less than 2 V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8007-8020
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number14
Early online date28 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2023


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