Surface-graphitized nanodiamonds (NDs) are promising hybrid nanomaterials which appear to combine core properties of diamond with surface properties of graphene-based materials. Here we demonstrate that NDs covered by graphene islands, so-called Fullerene-Like Reconstructions (FLRs), are sensitive to hole doping by molecular oxygen in water. NDs covered by FLRs (NDs-FLRs) are prepared by annealing under vacuum of detonation NDs at 750 °C. We propose that oxygen hole doping is promoted on FLRs due to a unique electronic interaction between the diamond core and the outer graphene layer. As a consequence, NDs-FLRs exhibit positive zeta potential in water, unlike NDs surrounded by several graphitic layers. Surface hole-doped NDs may be promising nanomaterials for new electronic and biomedical applications.
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