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Size, Structure, and Helical Twist of Graphene Nanoribbons Controlled by Confinement in Carbon Nanotubes

By Thomas W. Chamberlain (1355565), Johannes Biskupek (1920223), Graham A. Rance (1417225), Andrey Chuvilin (525005), Thomas J. Alexander (2081731), Elena Bichoutskaia (1335219), Ute Kaiser (1567189) and Andrei N. Khlobystov (1417219)


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) act as efficient nanoreactors, templating the assembly of sulfur-terminated graphene nanoribbons (S-GNRs) with different sizes, structures, and conformations. Spontaneous formation of nanoribbons from small sulfur-containing molecules is efficiently triggered by heat treatment or by an 80 keV electron beam. S-GNRs form readily in CNTs with internal diameters between 1 and 2 nm. Outside of this optimum range, nanotubes narrower than 1 nm do not have sufficient space to accommodate the 2D structure of S-GNRs, while nanotubes wider than 2 nm do not provide efficient confinement for unidirectional S-GNR growth, thus neither can support nanoribbon formation. Theoretical calculations show that the thermodynamic stability of nanoribbons is dependent on the S-GNR edge structure and, to a lesser extent, the width of the nanoribbon. For nanoribbons of similar widths, the polythiaperipolycene-type edges of zigzag S-GNRs are more stable than the polythiophene-type edges of armchair S-GNRs. Both the edge structure and the width define the electronic properties of S-GNRs which can vary widely from metallic to semiconductor to insulator. The encapsulated S-GNRs exhibit diverse dynamic behavior, including rotation, translation, and helical twisting inside the nanotube, which offers a mechanism for control of the electronic properties of the graphene nanoribbon <i>via</i> confinement at the nanoscale

Topics: Biophysics, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Plant Biology, Space Science, Chemical Sciences not elsewhere classified, Physical Sciences not elsewhere classified, Information Systems not elsewhere classified, 2 D structure, nanoribbon, Carbon NanotubesCarbon nanotubes, Theoretical calculations show, width, 80 keV electron beam, Graphene Nanoribbons Controlled, 2 nm, CNT
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1021/nn300137j.s003
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Provided by: FigShare
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