Atomically perfect torn graphene edges and their reversible reconstruction
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- Atomically perfect torn graphene edges and their reversible reconstruction
- Kim, Kwanpyo; Coh, Sinisa; Kisielowski, C.; Crommie, M. F.; Louie, Steven G.; Cohen, Marvin L.; Zettl, A.
- CARBON NANOTUBES; LAYER GRAPHENE; NANORIBBONS; NANOSTRUCTURES; SPECTROSCOPY; STABILITY; DYNAMICS; ZIGZAG
- Issue Date
- NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
- NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, v.4, no., pp.1 - 6
- The atomic structure of graphene edges is critical in determining the electrical, magnetic and chemical properties of truncated graphene structures, notably nanoribbons. Unfortunately, graphene edges are typically far from ideal and suffer from atomic-scale defects, structural distortion and unintended chemical functionalization, leading to unpredictable properties. Here we report that graphene edges fabricated by electron beam-initiated mechanical rupture or tearing in high vacuum are clean and largely atomically perfect, oriented in either the armchair or zigzag direction. We demonstrate, via aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy, reversible and extended pentagon-heptagon (5-7) reconstruction at zigzag edges, and explore experimentally and theoretically the dynamics of the transitions between configuration states. Good theoretical-experimental agreement is found for the flipping rates between 5-7 and 6-6 zigzag edge states. Our study demonstrates that simple ripping is remarkably effective in producing atomically clean, ideal terminations, thus providing a valuable tool for realizing atomically tailored graphene and facilitating meaningful experimental study.
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