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Rationally Designed Topological Quantum Dots in Bottom-Up Graphene Nanoribbons.

  • Author(s): Rizzo, Daniel J;
  • Jiang, Jingwei;
  • Joshi, Dharati;
  • Veber, Gregory;
  • Bronner, Christopher;
  • Durr, Rebecca A;
  • Jacobse, Peter H;
  • Cao, Ting;
  • Kalayjian, Alin;
  • Rodriguez, Henry;
  • Butler, Paul;
  • Chen, Ting;
  • Louie, Steven G;
  • Fischer, Felix R;
  • Crommie, Michael F
  • et al.
Abstract

Bottom-up graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) have recently been shown to host nontrivial topological phases. Here, we report the fabrication and characterization of deterministic GNR quantum dots whose orbital character is defined by zero-mode states arising from nontrivial topological interfaces. Topological control was achieved through the synthesis and on-surface assembly of three distinct molecular precursors designed to exhibit structurally derived topological electronic states. Using a combination of low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy, we have characterized two GNR topological quantum dot arrangements synthesized under ultrahigh vacuum conditions. Our results are supported by density-functional theory and tight-binding calculations, revealing that the magnitude and sign of orbital hopping between topological zero-mode states can be tuned based on the bonding geometry of the interconnecting region. These results demonstrate the utility of topological zero modes as components for designer quantum dots and advanced electronic devices.

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