Quantum confined electronic states in atomically well-defined graphene nanostructures

Sampsa Hämäläinen, Z. Sun, M.P. Boneschanscher, Christer Uppstu, M. Ijäs, A. Harju, D. Vanmaekelbergh, Peter Liljeroth

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Despite the enormous interest in the properties of graphene and the potential of graphene nanostructures in electronic applications, the study of quantum-confined states in atomically well-defined graphene nanostructures remains an experimental challenge. Here, we study graphene quantum dots (GQDs) with well-defined edges in the zigzag direction, grown by chemical vapor deposition on an Ir(111) substrate by low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy. We measure the atomic structure and local density of states of individual GQDs as a function of their size and shape in the range from a couple of nanometers up to ca. 20 nm. The results can be quantitatively modeled by a relativistic wave equation and atomistic tight-binding calculations. The observed states are analogous to the solutions of the textbook “particle-in-a-box” problem applied to relativistic massless fermions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number236803
Pages (from-to)1-5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • graphene
  • quantum dot
  • scanning tunneling microscopy


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