A review is given on the surface chemistry of carbon blacks and other carbons, in particular, activated carbons. The main part is devoted to surface oxides with emphasis on the chemical methods used in the assessment and identification of surface functional groups. Their formation under mild conditions and the influence of water vapor and metal catalysts on the reaction with air ("aging" of carbons) are described. Reaction with free organic radicals can be used for the functionalization of carbon surfaces.
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