Graphene nanoribbons (GNRs), narrow strips of single-layer graphene, have interesting physical, electrical, thermal, and optical properties because of the interplay between their crystal and electronic structures. These novel characteristics have pushed them to the forefront in the search for ways to advance next-generation nanotechnologies.
While bottom-up fabrication techniques now allow the synthesis of a broad range of graphene nanoribbons that feature well-defined edge geometries, widths, and heteroatom incorporations, the question of whether or not structural disorder is present in these atomically precise GNRs, and to what extent, is still subject to debate. The answer to this riddle is of critical importance to any potential applications or resulting devices.
Collaboration between Oleg Yazyev's Chair of Computational Condensed Matter Physics theory group at EPFL and Roman Fasel's experimental nanotech@surfaces Laboratory at Empa has produced two papers that look at this issue in armchair-edged and zigzag-edged graphene nano ribbons.
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