Synthesis of structurally well-defined and liquid-phase-processable graphene nanoribbons

Akimitsu Narita, Xinliang Feng, Yenny Hernandez, Søren A. Jensen, Mischa Bonn, Huafeng Yang, Ivan A. Verzhbitskiy, Cinzia Casiraghi, Michael Ryan Hansen, Amelie H R Koch, George Fytas, Oleksandr Ivasenko, Bing Li, Kunal S. Mali, Tatyana Balandina, Sankarapillai Mahesh, Steven De Feyter, Klaus Müllen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The properties of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) make them good candidates for next-generation electronic materials. Whereas 'top-down' methods, such as the lithographical patterning of graphene and the unzipping of carbon nanotubes, give mixtures of different GNRs, structurally well-defined GNRs can be made using a 'bottom-up' organic synthesis approach through solution-mediated or surface-assisted cyclodehydrogenation reactions. Specifically, non-planar polyphenylene precursors were first 'built up' from small molecules, and then 'graphitized' and 'planarized' to yield GNRs. However, fabrication of processable and longitudinally well-extended GNRs has remained a major challenge. Here we report a bottom-up solution synthesis of long (>200 nm) liquid-phase-processable GNRs with a well-defined structure and a large optical bandgap of 1.88 eV. Self-assembled monolayers of GNRs can be observed by scanning probe microscopy, and non-contact time-resolved terahertz conductivity measurements reveal excellent charge-carrier mobility within individual GNRs. Such structurally well-defined GNRs may prove useful for fundamental studies of graphene nanostructures, as well as the development of GNR-based nanoelectronics. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)126-132
    Number of pages6
    JournalNature Chemistry
    Issue number2
    Early online date8 Dec 2013
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


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