Graphene nanoribbon heterojunctions

Jinming Cai, Carlo A. Pignedoli, Leopold Talirz, Pascal Ruffieux, Hajo Söde, Liangbo Liang, Vincent Meunier, Reinhard Berger, Rongjin Li, Xinliang Feng, Klaus Müllen, Roman Fasel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

529 Scopus citations


Despite graphene's remarkable electronic properties, the lack of an electronic bandgap severely limits its potential for applications in digital electronics. In contrast to extended films, narrow strips of graphene (called graphene nanoribbons) are semiconductors through quantum confinement, with a bandgap that can be tuned as a function of the nanoribbon width and edge structure. Atomically precise graphene nanoribbons can be obtained via a bottom-up approach based on the surface-assisted assembly of molecular precursors. Here we report the fabrication of graphene nanoribbon heterojunctions and heterostructures by combining pristine hydrocarbon precursors with their nitrogen-substituted equivalents. Using scanning probe methods, we show that the resulting heterostructures consist of seamlessly assembled segments of pristine (undoped) graphene nanoribbons (p-GNRs) and deterministically nitrogen-doped graphene nanoribbons (N-GNRs), and behave similarly to traditional p-n junctions. With a band shift of 0.5 eV and an electric field of 2×108 V m -1 at the heterojunction, these materials bear a high potential for applications in photovoltaics and electronics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)896-900
Number of pages5
JournalNature nanotechnology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 13 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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