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Large, stable pieces of graphene made with a unique edge pattern



Various models are formed at the edges of Nanographene. Zigzags are particularly interesting and especially unstable. FAU researchers have now succeeded in creating stable carbon layers with this model at their edges. Credit: FAU / Konstantin Amsharov

Bay, fjord, cove, chair and zigzag – chemists use terms such as to describe the edges of nanographene. The graphene is made up of a single-layer carbon structure surrounded by three other carbon atoms. It creates a model that resembles a cell, an atom in each corner. Nanographene is a promising candidate to bring microelectronics to nano-scale and possibly replace silicon.


The electronic properties of the material largely depend on its shape, size and, above all, the periphery – in other words, how the edges are formed. The zigzag periphery is particularly suitable – in this configuration, the electrons acting as charge carriers are more mobile than other edge structures. This means that the use of zigzag shaped graphene pieces in nanoelectronic components can allow higher frequencies.

Material scientists who only want to study zigzag nanography face the problem that this form makes connections unstable and difficult to produce in a controlled manner. However, this is a prerequisite for the detailed study of electronic properties.

Researchers led by Dr. Konstantin Amsharov of the Department of Organic Chemistry II has now succeeded in doing so. Their research is now published Natural communication. Not only have they discovered a simple method for synthesizing zigzag nanoscience, but their procedure also provides almost 100% yield and is suitable for large scale production. They have already produced a technically significant amount in the laboratory.

A highly sought-after zigzag pattern can be found either in the rows of stairs (blue and purple) or in rectangular stars that cover the central point of the four graphene cells (red and green). Credit: FAU / Konstantin Amsharov

The researchers first prepared the initial molecules, which then combined several cycles as a process of cell formation called cyclization. After all, the fragments of the graphene are made of a row of rows of queues or of four limeden stars, which encompasses the central point of the four graphene cells, with the edges of the requested cigar. The product crystallizes directly, even during synthesis. In solid state, the molecules do not come into contact with oxygen. However, oxidation in the solution causes rapid disintegration of structures.

This approach allows scientists to produce large pieces of graphene while maintaining control over their shape and periphery. This breakthrough in graphene research means that scientists will soon have to be able to produce and explore a variety of interesting nanoscience structures, which is an important step towards the use of material in nanoelectronic components.


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More information:
Dominik Lungerich et al., Dehydrative π-extension for nanographs with zigzag edges, Natural communication (2018). DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-018-07095-z

Magazine Reference:
Natural communication

Provides:
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg


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