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The thinnest ribbon in the world!?

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Posted June 3, 2015

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have successfully produced graphene nanoribbons by making use of the phenomenon that inorganic nanomaterials self-assemble into regular structures on graphene. This will enlarge the possible applications of graphene, which is expected to be an important alternative material to silicon for semiconductor devices.

An image of inorganic nanowires self-assembled on graphene and graphene nanoribbons fabricated using those nanowires. Both the nanowires and the graphene nanoribbons are found to be aligned in zigzag-edged directions. Image credit: Aki Sato

An image of inorganic nanowires self-assembled on graphene and graphene nanoribbons fabricated using those nanowires. Both the nanowires and the graphene nanoribbons are found to be aligned in zigzag-edged directions. Image credit: Aki Sato

Institute of Industrial Science Professor Shoji Takeuchi and Project Assistant Professor Won Chul Lee first found that gold(I) cyanide nanowires grow directly on pristine graphene in aqueous solution at room temperature, the molecules aligning themselves with the zigzag lattice directions of the graphene. The researchers then fabricated graphene nanoribbons with zigzag-edged directions by employing the synthesized nanowires as an etching mask. The graphene nanoribbons created were 10 nm in width and as thin as a single carbon atom. Both the nanowires and graphene nanoribbons formed along the zigzag lattice, offering a potential method for controlling the formation direction of graphene nanoribbons, something that had not been realized until now.

This result is now available in Nature Nanotechnology.

Source: University of Tokyo

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