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Nanoscale. 2011 Sep 1;3(9):3876-82. doi: 10.1039/c1nr10483g. Epub 2011 Aug 15.

Single step synthesis of graphene nanoribbons by catalyst particle size dependent cutting of multiwalled carbon nanotubes.

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  • 1Department of Physics, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005, India.


Graphene nanoribbons are emerging as an interesting material for the study of low dimensional physics and for the applications in future electronics due to its finite energy band gap. However, its applicability for large scale nanoelectronics may not be effectively realized unless graphene nanoribbons could be produced using a simple, viable, cost-effective and scalable technique. Here, we report the one step facile synthesis of few layered graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) by catalytically unzipping multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) based on the solubility of carbon atoms in transition metals. The process is free from aggressive oxidants (such as KMnO(4), KClO(4), H(2)SO(4), HNO(3), etc.) and utilizes the in situ grown nickel nanoparticles for nanotube unzipping. This is an additional advantage over previously used techniques to synthesize GNRs. To observe the effect of catalyst particle size and reaction temperature on cutting length of the nanotubes, a simulation study has been done based on solubility of carbon atoms in metal nanoparticles.

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