Low-dimensional materials are of great interest to both theorists and experimentalists, owing to their novel electronic properties which arise mainly because of a host of quantum confinement effects. Recent experimental findings of graphene have provided a new platform to explore the interesting electronic properties in strictly two dimensions. In this feature article, we review the novel properties of an interesting class of quasi one dimensional materials, known as graphene nanoribbons, which can be obtained by finite termination of graphene sheet with smooth edges. Recent experimental sophistications provide various physical and chemical ways to materialize these systems. Two different edge geometries, namely zigzag and armchair, arising from the finite termination of graphene, control the electronic properties of graphene nanoribbons. Here we attempt to give an overview of their interesting electronic, magnetic, optical, conduction properties and explore possible ways of enhancing their device applicability by a number of ways including external perturbations, doping and chemical modifications.
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