Researchers have studied the impact of in situ photoreduction, by means of UV irradiation, on the nonlinear optical response (NLO) of some graphene oxide (GO), fluorographene (GF), hydrogenated fluorographene (GFH) and graphene (G) dispersions.
In situ UV photoreduction allowed for the extended modification of the degree of functionalization (i.e., oxidization, fluorination and hydrogenation), leading to the effective tuning of the corresponding sp2/sp3 hybridization ratios. The nonlinear optical properties of the studied samples prior to and after UV irradiation were determined by means of the Z-scan technique using visible (532 nm), 4 ns laser excitation, and were found to change significantly.
More specifically, while GO’s nonlinear optical response increases with irradiation time, GF and GFH present a monotonic decrease. The graphene dispersions’ nonlinear optical response remains unaffected after prolonged UV irradiation for more than an hour. The present findings demonstrate that UV photoreduction can be an effective and simple strategy for tuning the nonlinear optical response of these graphene derivatives in a controllable way, resulting in derivatives with custom-made responses, thus more suitable for different photonic and optoelectronic applications.