Scientists synthesise graphene nanoribbons for quantum technology

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22/01/2021

An international team of researchers has synthesised graphene nanoribbons on a titanium dioxide surface to further innovation in quantum technologies.

Graphene is composed of single-atom-thick layers of carbon taking on ultralight, conductive, and extremely strong mechanical characteristics. When fashioned into graphene nanoribbons the material could be applied in nanoscale devices; however, the lack of atomic-scale precision in using current synthetic methods hinders the wider adoption of graphene.

Researchers at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS), located at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), USA, have developed a ‘bottom-up’ approach – building the graphene nanoribbon directly at the atomic level in a way that it can be used in specific applications.

This precise method helped to retain the properties of graphene monolayers as the segments of graphene get smaller and smaller. Just one or two atoms difference in width can change the properties of the system dramatically, turning a semiconducting ribbon into a metallic ribbon. The team’s results were described in Science.

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