Sharpening the chemical scissors to unzip carbon nanotubes: Crystalline graphene nanoribbons

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It has recently been demonstrated that graphene nanoribbons can be mass-produced by unzipping carbon nanotubes. At present, wet chemical routes via acid oxidation appear to be the most effective and scalable. Although it was believed that this route resulted in highly defective nanoribbons with low electrical transport properties, a research group led by James Tour at Rice University has now realized that it is indeed possible to obtain highly crystalline graphene nanoribbons exhibiting high electrical conductivities, which could be used in the fabrication of field effect transistors and other devices. The results indicate that a defect-engineering approach could be used to control the straightness and length of the ribbons using oxidation reactions at relatively high temperatures (e.g., 60 °C). It has been shown that defects are critical in tailoring the physicochemical properties of graphene-like nanomaterials such as nanoribbons. However, this is the tip of the iceberg, and more edge chemistry and physics is still needed to develop and to produce real graphene nanoribbon devices for use in the market.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1775-1781
Number of pages7
JournalACS nano
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 27 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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