Two recent studies by a collaborative team of scientists from two NCCR MARVEL labs have identified a new type of defect as the most common source of disorder in on-surface synthesized graphene nanoribbons (GNRs).
Combining scanning probe microscopy with first-principles calculations allowed the researchers to identify the atomic structure of these so-called “bite” defects and to investigate their effect on quantum electronic transport in two different types of graphene nanoribbon. They also established guidelines for minimizing the detrimental impact of these defects on electronic transport and proposed defective zigzag-edged nanoribbons as suitable platforms for certain applications in spintronics.
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