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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Transfer-Free Synthesis of Atomically Precise Graphene Nanoribbons on Insulating Substrates.

  • Author(s): Mutlu, Zafer;
  • Llinas, Juan Pablo;
  • Jacobse, Peter H;
  • Piskun, Ilya;
  • Blackwell, Raymond;
  • Crommie, Michael F;
  • Fischer, Felix R;
  • Bokor, Jeffrey
  • et al.

The rational bottom-up synthesis of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) provides atomically precise control of widths and edges that give rise to a wide range of electronic properties promising for electronic devices such as field-effect transistors (FETs). Since the bottom-up synthesis commonly takes place on catalytic metallic surfaces, the integration of GNRs into such devices requires their transfer onto insulating substrates, which remains one of the bottlenecks in the development of GNR-based electronics. Herein, we report on a method for the transfer-free placement of GNRs on insulators. This involves growing GNRs on a gold film deposited onto an insulating layer followed by gentle wet etching of the gold, which leaves the nanoribbons to settle in place on the underlying insulating substrate. Scanning tunneling microscopy and Raman spectroscopy confirm that atomically precise GNRs of high density uniformly grow on the gold films deposited onto SiO2/Si substrates and remain structurally intact after the etching process. We have also demonstrated transfer-free fabrication of ultrashort channel GNR FETs using this process. A very important aspect of the present work is that the method can scale up well to 12 in. wafers, which is extremely difficult for previous techniques. Our work here thus represents an important step toward large-scale integration of GNRs into electronic devices.

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