Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Successful Boron-Doping of Graphene Nanoribbon

27.08.2015

Physicists at the University of Basel succeed in synthesizing boron-doped graphene nanoribbons and characterizing their structural, electronic and chemical properties. The modified material could potentially be used as a sensor for the ecologically damaging nitrogen oxides, scientists report in the latest issue of Nature Communications.

Graphene is one of the most promising materials for improving electronic devices. The two-dimensional carbon sheet exhibits high electron mobility and accordingly has excellent conductivity. Other than usual semiconductors, the material lacks the so-called band gap, an energy range in a solid where no electron states can exist.


Graphene nanoribbon under the microscope. (Image: University of Basel)

Therefore, it avoids a situation in which the device is electronically switched off. However, in order to fabricate efficient electronic switches from graphene, it is necessary that the material can be switched ”on” and ”off”.

The solution to this problem lies in trimming the graphene sheet to a ribbon-like shape, named graphene nanoribbon (GNR). Thereby it can be altered to have a band gap whose value is dependent on the width of the shape.

Synthesis on Gold Surface

To tune the band gap in order for the graphene nanoribbons to act like a well-established silicon semiconductor, the ribbons are being doped. To that end, the researchers intentionally introduce impurities into pure material for the purpose of modulating its electrical properties.

While nitrogen doping has been realized, boron-doping has remained unexplored. Subsequently, the electronic and chemical properties have stayed unclear thus far.

Prof. Dr. Ernst Meyer and Dr. Shigeki Kawai from the Department of Physics at the University of Basel, assisted by researchers from Japanese and Finnish Universities, have succeeded in synthesizing boron-doped graphene nanoribbons with various widths.

They used an on-surface chemical reaction with a newly synthesized precursor molecule on an atomically clean gold surface. The chemical structures were directly resolved by state-of-the-art atomic force microscopy at low temperature.

Towards a Nitrogen Oxide-Sensor

The doped site of the boron atom was unambiguously confirmed and its doping ratio – the number of boron atoms relative to the total number of atoms within the nanoribbon – lay at 4.8 atomic percent. By dosing nitric oxide gas, the chemical property known as the Lewis acidity could also be confirmed.

The doped nitric oxide gas was highly-selectively adsorbed on the boron site. This measurement indicates that the boron-doped graphene nanoribbon can be used for an ultra-high sensitive gas sensor for nitrogen oxides which are currently a hot topic in the industry as being highly damaging to the environment.

Original Source
S. Kawai, S. Saito, O. Oshima, S. Yamaguchi, A. S. Foster, P. Spiker, and E. Meyer
Atomically controlled substitutional boron-doping of graphene nanoribbons
Nature Communications, 6. 8098 (2015), doi: 10.1038/ncomms9098

Further Information
Professor Ernst Meyer, University of Basel, Department of Physics, Tel. +41 61 267 37 24, email: ernst.meyer@unibas.ch

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.unibas.ch/en/News-Events/News/Uni-Research/Succesful-Boron-Doping-of...

Olivia Poisson | Universität Basel

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments
18.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik

nachricht How does a molecule vibrate when you “touch” it?
17.04.2018 | Universität Regensburg

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

Im Focus: The Future of Ultrafast Solid-State Physics

In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.

Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...

Im Focus: Stronger evidence for a weaker Atlantic overturning

The Atlantic overturning – one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards – is weaker today than any time before in more than 1000 years. Sea surface temperature data analysis provides new evidence that this major ocean circulation has slowed down by roughly 15 percent since the middle of the 20th century, according to a study published in the highly renowned journal Nature by an international team of scientists. Human-made climate change is a prime suspect for these worrying observations.

“We detected a specific pattern of ocean cooling south of Greenland and unusual warming off the US coast – which is highly characteristic for a slowdown of the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New capabilities at NSLS-II set to advance materials science

18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Strong carbon fiber artificial muscles can lift 12,600 times their own weight

18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Polymer-graphene nanocarpets to electrify smart fabrics

18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>