Molecule of the Month
July 2010
Atomically Precise Bottom-Up Fabrication of Graphene Nanoribbons

Graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) exhibit electronic properties that make them attractive for nanoscale electronic devices, but their production remains a challenge. We have developed a GNR fabrication method which uses surface-assisted coupling of molecular precursors into linear polyphenylenes and their subsequent cyclodehydrogenation. The topology, width and edge periphery of the GNRs are defined by the precursor monomers, which can be designed to give access to a wide range of different GNRs. The illustration shows STM images from GNRs grown on Au(111) using two different precursors.

This work was carried out in the groups of Prof. Roman Fasel (Empa & DCB) and Prof. Klaus Müllen (MPIP Mainz).


  • J. Cai, P. Ruffieux, R. Jaafar, M. Bieri, T. Braun, S. Blankenburg, M. Muoth, A. P. Seitsonen, M. Saleh, X. Feng, K. Müllen and R. Fasel;
    "Atomically precise bottom-up fabrication of graphene nanoribbons"
    Nature, 466, 470-473, (2010); doi:10.1038/nature09211.