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Graphene Nanoribbons with Orientation that Enhances Sensors and Solar Cells

Research at Kansas State University has developed a high-throughput method for enabling controlled production of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) with predictable metallic or semiconducting electrical properties. The process can control the band gap of the GNRs by controlling its width (from 5 nm to 200 nanometers (nm) with a 1 nm resolution), and crystallographic orientation (zigzag, armchair or mixed).

This method is unique, simple, highly robust and highly effective in obtaining GNRs and other graphene nanostructures under a high level of control. Highly-oriented-pyrolytic-graphite (HOPG) is sliced by a diamond knife, producing graphite nanoblocks (GNBs) of precisely controlled width and atomic orientation. These GNB are then chemically exfoliated to produce GNRs. In opposition to the existing, this method produces low-defect GNRs at high throughput with highly controlled crystallography.


microscopy
Fig 1. Transmission electron microscopy image showing high throughput production of GNRs of controlled width (50 nm).
ADVANTAGES:

-High throughput GNR production with predictable metallic and semiconducting properties via improved control on band gap.
-Width controlled at 1 nm resolution.
-Controlled crystallographic orientations.
-Production of other controlled nanoshapes.

APPLICATIONS:
-Ultrahigh speed transistors
-Electronic & optoelectronic devices
-Sensors (biological, physical, etc.)
-Solar cells
-Logic devices
-Actuators
-Coulomb blockade devices
-Ultra-strong composite paper
-Field emission devices
-Transparent electrodes
-Conductive pastes
-Optical/fluorescent devices
-Potential for application of graphene in biological devices.

PATENT STATUS:

-International Patent Protection (#13/511,600) filed in USA on May 23, 2012

Additional Details

Owner

Kansas State University

Intellectual Property Protection

Patent Issued



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