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Large, stable pieces of graphene produced with a unique edge pattern

Different patterns are formed at the edges of nanographs. Zigzags are particularly interesting – and particularly unstable. FAU researchers have now been able to create stable carbon layers with this pattern on their edges. Credentials: FAU / Konstantin Amsharov

Cove, fjord, bay, armchair and lipstick – chemists use phrases such as these to describe the shapes that made the edges of nanographs. Grafen consists of a one-layer carbon structure in which each carbon atom is surrounded by three others. It creates a recalling pattern with atoms in every corner. Nanographed is a promising candidate for dropping microelectronics into nano-scale and probably replacing silicon.

The electronic material properties depend largely on its shape, size and, above all, the periphery – in other words, the edges are structured. Particularly suitable for lip-peripherals – in this configuration, electrons acting as charge carriers are more mobile than in other edge structures. This means that the use of lip-graphene parts in nanoelectronic components can provide more frequency for switches.

Scientists who want to investigate only a zygomatic nanoprojector face the problem of making this form unstable and difficult to produce in a controlled manner. However, this is a prerequisite for a detailed study of electronic properties.

Researchers headed by Dr. Konstantin Amsharov of the Department of Organic Chemistry II have now managed to do this. Their research is now being published in Zagreb Nature CommunicationsNot only have they discovered the straightforward method for the synthesis of lip-nanoparticles, their process yields almost 100 percent yield and is suitable for large-scale production. They have already produced a technically relevant amount in the lab.

Much of the required lipstick pattern can be found in the arranged rhombic rows (blue and purple) or square stars encircling the central point of the four graphene honeycombs (red and green). Credentials: FAU / Konstantin Amsharov

The researchers first produced preliminary molecules, which coalesced together into honeycomb formation during several cycles in the process known as cyclization. Finally, the fragments of graphene are formed from the arranged rhombs or quadratic stars surrounding the center point of the four graphene honeycombs, with the required lip-shaped pattern on the edges. The product crystallizes directly, even during the synthesis. In its solid state, the molecules are not in contact with oxygen. However, in the solution, oxidation causes the structures to rapidly break down.

This approach allows scientists to produce large pieces of graphene, retaining control of their shape and periphery. This discovery in graphene research means scientists will soon be able to produce and explore different interesting nanogram structures, which is a key step towards using materials in nanoelectronic components.

Explore further:
Holey grafen as the Holy Grail alternative to silicon chips

More information:
Dominik Lungerich et al., Dehydration π-extension on nanograms with lip-edges, Nature Communications (2018). DOI: 10,1038 / s41467-018-07095-z

Journal reference:
Nature Communications

Erlangen-Nürnberg University

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