Ultra-narrow metallic armchair graphene nanoribbons

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Graphene nanoribbons (GNRs)—narrow stripes of graphene—have emerged as promising building blocks for nanoelectronic devices. Recent advances in bottom-up synthesis have allowed production of atomically well-defined armchair GNRs with different widths and doping. While all experimentally studied GNRs have exhibited wide bandgaps, theory predicts that every third armchair GNR (widths of N=3m+2, where m is an integer) should be nearly metallic with a very small bandgap. Here, we synthesize the narrowest possible GNR belonging to this family (five carbon atoms wide, N=5). We study the evolution of the electronic bandgap and orbital structure of GNR segments as a function of their length using low-temperature scanning tunnelling microscopy and density-functional theory calculations. Already GNRs with lengths of 5 nm reach almost metallic behaviour with ~100 meV bandgap. Finally, we show that defects (kinks) in the GNRs do not strongly modify their electronic structure.


Original languageEnglish
Article number10177
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • graphene nanoribbons, scanning tunneling microscopy, scanning tunneling spectroscopy

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