In this review, the fundamental aspects (with particular focus to the microscopic thermodynamics and kinetics mechanisms) concerning the fabrication of graphene-metal nanoparticles composites are discussed. In particular, the attention is devoted to those fabrication methods involving vapor-phase depositions of metals on/in graphene-based materials. Graphene-metal nanoparticles composites are, nowadays, widely investigated both from a basic scientific and from several technological point of views. In fact, these graphene-based systems present wide-range tunable and functional electrical, optical, and mechanical properties which can be exploited for the design and production of innovative and high-efficiency devices. This research field is, so, a wide and multidisciplinary section in the nanotechnology field of study. So, this review aims to discuss, in a synthetic and systematic framework, the basic microscopic mechanisms and processes involved in metal nanoparticles formation on graphene sheets by physical vapor deposition methods and on their evolution by post-deposition processes. This is made by putting at the basis of the discussions some specific examples to draw insights on the common general physical and chemical properties and parameters involved in the synergistic interaction processes between graphene and metals.
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