Nitrogen-doped graphitic nanoribbons: Synthesis, characterization, and transport

Josue Ortiz-Medina, M. Luisa García-Betancourt, Xiaoting Jia, Rafael Martínez-Gordillo, Miguel A. Pelagio-Flores, David Swanson, Ana Laura Elías, Humberto R. Gutiérrez, Eduardo Gracia-Espino, Vincent Meunier, Jonathan Owens, Bobby G. Sumpter, Eduardo Cruz-Silva, Fernando J. Rodríguez-Macías, Florentino Lõpez-Urías, Emilio Muñoz-Sandoval, Mildred S. Dresselhaus, Humberto Terrones, Mauricio Terrones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Nitrogen-doped graphitic nanoribbons (Nx-GNRs), synthesized by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) using pyrazine as a nitrogen precursor, are reported for the first time. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) reveal that the synthesized materials are formed by multilayered corrugated GNRs, which in most cases exhibit the formation of curved graphene edges (loops). This suggests that during growth, nitrogen atoms promote loop formation; undoped GNRs do not form loops at their edges. Transport measurements on individual pure GNRs exhibit a linear I-V (current-voltage) behavior, whereas Nx-GNRs show reduced current responses following a semiconducting-like behavior, which becomes more prominent for high nitrogen concentrations. To better understand the experimental findings, electron density of states (DOS), quantum conductance for nitrogen-doped zigzag and armchair single-layer GNRs are calculated for different N doping concentrations using density functional theory (DFT) and non-equilibrium Green functions. These calculations confirm the crucial role of nitrogen atoms in the transport properties, confirming that the nonlinear I-V curves are due to the presence of nitrogen atoms within the Nx-GNRs lattice that act as scattering sites. These characteristic Nx-GNRs transport properties could be advantageous in the fabrication of electronic devices including sensors in which metal-like undoped GNRs are unsuitable. Synthesis by chemical vapor deposition of nitrogen-doped graphitic nanoribbons (Nx-GNRs) is reported using pyrazine as a N precursor. Morphological, physico-chemical, and electrical characterization of nitrogen-doped graphitic nanoribbons reveal unique characteristics associated with doping sites, such as increased reactivity and changes in the electrical response towards semiconducting-like features. These results are confirmed using first-principle theoretical studies of N-doped graphene nanoribbons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3755-3762
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number30
StatePublished - Aug 12 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrochemistry


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