q&more
My watch list
my.chemie.de  
Login  

News

Chemists achieve breakthrough in the synthesis of graphene nanoribbons

Graphene Nanoribbons might soon be much easier to produce

seagul, pixabay.com, CC0

Symbolic image

29-Jun-2020: An international research team led by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the U.S. has succeeded in producing this versatile material for the first time directly on the surface of semiconductors. Until now, this was only possible on metal surfaces. The new approach also enables scientists to customise the properties of the nanoribbons. Storage technology is one of the potential applications of the material.

For years, graphene has been regarded as the material of the future. In simple terms, it is a two-dimensional carbon surface that resembles a honeycomb. This special structure gives the material distinctive properties: for example, it is extremely stable and ultra-light. There is a particular interest in graphene nanoribbons as they are a semiconductor material that could be used, for instance, in the electrical and computer industry. "This is why many research groups around the world are focusing their efforts on graphene nanoribbons," explains chemist Professor Konstantin Amsharov at MLU. These ribbons, which are only nanometres in size, are made up of just a few carbon atoms wide. Their properties are determined by their shape and width. When graphene research was just beginning, the bands were produced by cutting up larger sections. "This process was very complicated and imprecise," says Amsharov.

He and colleagues from Germany, the U.S. and Poland, have now succeeded in simplifying the production of the coveted nanoribbons. The team produces the material by joining together individual atoms, which enables the properties to be customised. The researchers have succeeded for the first time in producing the ribbons on the surface of titanium oxide, a non-metallic material. "Until now, the ribbons were mainly synthesised on gold surfaces. This is not only comparatively expensive, but also impractical," explains Amsharov. The problem with this approach is that gold conducts electricity. This would directly negate the properties of the graphene nanoribbons, which is why this method has only been used in basic research. However, the gold was needed as a catalyst to produce the nanoribbons in the first place. In addition, the nanoribbons had to be transferred from the gold surface to another surface - a very tricky undertaking. The new approach discovered by Amsharov and his colleagues solves this set of problems.

"Our new method allows us to have complete control over how the graphene nanoribbons are assembled. The process is technologically relevant as it could also be used at an industrial level. It is also more cost-effective than previous processes," says Amsharov, in summary. There are numerous areas of application for the nanoribbons: they could be used in future storage and semiconductor technology and they play a crucial role in the development of quantum computers.

Original publication:
Kolmer M. et al.; "Rational synthesis of atomically precise graphene nanoribbons directly on metal oxide surfaces"; Science; 2020

Facts, background information, dossiers

More about MLU

  • News

    More precise Cas9 variant

    CRISPR-Cas9 has revolutionized the field of genetics by its ability to cut DNA at defined target sites. Researchers are using the Cas9 enzyme to specifically switch off genes, or insert new DNA fragments into the genome. But no matter how specific the Cas9 enzyme is – sometimes it cuts wher ... more

    Antibiotics: New substances break bacterial resistance

    Researchers at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have developed a new, promising class of active ingredients against resistant bacteria. In initial tests in cell cultures and insects, the substances were at least as effective as common antibiotics. The new compounds target ... more

    Forward or backward? New pathways for protons in water or methanol

    A collaborative ultrafast spectroscopy and ab initio molecular dynamics simulations study, as recently published by scientists of the Max Born Institute of Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy (MBI) and the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) in the Journal of the Ameri ... more

More about Oak Ridge National Laboratory

q&more – the networking platform for quality excellence in lab and process

The q&more concept is to increase the visibility of recent research and innovative solutions, and support the exchange of knowledge. In the broad spectrum of subjects covered, the focus is on achieving maximum quality in highly innovative sectors. As a modern knowledge platform, q&more offers market participants one-of-a-kind networking opportunities. Cutting-edge research is presented by authors of international repute. Attractively presented in a high-quality context, and published in German and English, the original articles introduce new concepts and highlight unconventional solution strategies.

> more about q&more

q&more is supported by:

 

Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE