Atomically precise graphene nanoribbons: interplay of structural and electronic properties
Graphene nanoribbons hold great promise for future applications in nanoelectronic devices, as they may combine the excellent electronic properties of graphene with the opening of an electronic band gap – not present in graphene but required for transistor applications. With a two-step on-surface synthesis process, graphene nanoribbons can be fabricated with atomic precision, allowing precise control over width and edge structure. Meanwhile, a decade of research has resulted in a plethora of graphene nanoribbons having various structural and electronic properties. This article reviews not only the on-surface synthesis of atomically precise graphene nanoribbons but also how their electronic properties are ultimately linked to their structure. Current knowledge and considerations with respect to precursor design, which eventually determines the final (electronic) structure, are summarized. Special attention is dedicated to the electronic properties of graphene nanoribbons, also in dependence on their width and edge structure. It is exactly this possibility of precisely changing their properties by fine-tuning the precursor design – offering tunability over a wide range – which has generated this vast research interest, also in view of future applications. Thus, selected device prototypes are presented as well.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Nanoconfinement