Researchers from University of Erlangen-Nuremberg developed a new method to form nanographenes on metal oxide surfaces, according to a report published on March 1, 2019.
Until now, formation of nanostructures on non-metallic surfaces was a challenge. This research was published in the journal Science. Graphene is a two-dimensional, flexible, tear-resistant, lightweight, and versatile material. Moreover, it is suitable for nanoelectronic applications, as it possesses unique electrical properties. Nanographene has conductive and semi-conductive properties, which is based on its size and shape.
An electronic circuit is fabricated by synthesizing and assembling the molecules of nanographene on an insulating or semi-conductive surface. However, direct synthesis of nanographenes on metal oxide surfaces cannot be done, as it is considerably less chemically reactive. Then, the processes will have to be carried out at high temperatures, which might then result in several uncontrollable secondary reactions. As a solution to this problem, scientists have developed a method of synthesizing nanographenes on non-metallic surfaces such as insulating surfaces or semi-conductors.
Researchers utilized a carbon fluorine bond to develop this method and a multilevel process can be triggered using this bond. The desired nanographenes are formed through cyclodehydrofluorination on the titanium oxide surface. All 'missing' carbon-carbon bonds are thus formed after each other in a formation that resembles a zip being closed. This enables the researchers to create nanographenes on titanium oxide, a semi-conductor. Moreover, researchers can define the shape of nanographene by making changes in the arrangement of the preliminary molecules. Based on where the fluorine atoms are placed, new carbon-carbon bonds and, eventually, nanographenes are formed.
Dr. Konstantin Amsharov from the Chair of Organic Chemistry II said, “This groundbreaking innovation offers effective and simple access to electronic nanocircuits that really work, which could scale down existing microelectronics to the nanometer scale.”
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