Issue 36, 2020

Air-stable, long-length, solution-based graphene nanoribbons


Within the context of nanoelectronics, general strategies for the development of electronically tunable and air stable graphene nanoribbons are crucial. Previous studies towards the goal of processable nanoribbons have been complicated by ambient condition instability, insolubility arising from aggregation, or poor cyclization yield due to electron deficiency. Herein, we present a general strategy for the elongation of smaller graphene nanoribbon fragments into air-stable, easily processed, and electronically tunable nanoribbons. This strategy is facilitated by the incorporation of electron-rich donor units between electron-poor acceptor perylene diimide oligomeric units. The ribbons are processed in solution via a visible-light flow photocyclization using LEDs. The resulting long nanoribbons can be solution-cast and imaged, which are necessary characteristics for device fabrication. The ribbons become conductive after thermolysis of the pendent side-chains. The electron-accepting character of these nanoribbons in solution is reversible, and the conductivity of the thermolyzed species as a solid remains stable. This work highlights our general strategy for the mild and reliable fabrication of tunable and ambient-stable graphene nanoribbons, and charts a straightforward route for facile device incorporation.

Graphical abstract: Air-stable, long-length, solution-based graphene nanoribbons

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
Edge Article
10 Apr 2020
19 Aug 2020
First published
09 Sep 2020
This article is Open Access

All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry
Creative Commons BY license

Chem. Sci., 2020,11, 9978-9982

Air-stable, long-length, solution-based graphene nanoribbons

S. R. Peurifoy, Q. Xu, R. May, N. A. Gadjieva, T. J. Sisto, Z. Jin, L. E. Marbella and C. Nuckolls, Chem. Sci., 2020, 11, 9978 DOI: 10.1039/D0SC02105A

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.

Social activity