From graphene to graphene ribbons: atomically precise cutting via hydrogenation pseudo-crack

CG Qi and WF Peng and JX Zhou and LJ Yi and J Wang and YY Zhang, NANOTECHNOLOGY, 31, 415705 (2020).

DOI: 10.1088/1361-6528/ab9046

The properties and applications of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) depend heavily on their shape and size, making precise design and construction at atomic scale significantly important. Herein, we show that pseudo- cracking is a feasible method for creating atomically precise GNRs. By using molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, we find that hydrogenation can act as a pseudo-crack to trigger the fracture of graphene along the hydrogenation line and cut the graphene into a GNR. Precise GNRs with a desired width, edge type and associated properties can be realized in a controllable way by manipulating the position and dimension of the hydrogenation pseudo-crack. We also find that it is better to use hydrogenation pseudo-cracks along the armchair direction to cut graphene at lower forces into GNRs with smooth edges. Our findings suggest a promising approach to cut graphene and other two-dimensional materials into nanoribbons effectively and accurately.

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