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Nat Commun. 2013;4:2402. doi: 10.1038/ncomms3402.

Direct growth of aligned graphitic nanoribbons from a DNA template by chemical vapour deposition.

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1] Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, Stauffer III, 381 North-South Mall, Stanford, California 94305, USA [2] The Dow Chemical Company, 1776 Building/F23, Midland, Michigan 48640, USA [3].


Graphene, laterally confined within narrow ribbons, exhibits a bandgap and is envisioned as a next-generation material for high-performance electronics. To take advantage of this phenomenon, there is a critical need to develop methodologies that result in graphene ribbons <10 nm in width. Here we report the use of metal salts infused within stretched DNA as catalysts to grow nanoscopic graphitic nanoribbons. The nanoribbons are termed graphitic as they have been determined to consist of regions of sp(2) and sp(3) character. The nanoscopic graphitic nanoribbons are micrometres in length, <10 nm in width, and take on the shape of the DNA template. The DNA strand is converted to a graphitic nanoribbon by utilizing chemical vapour deposition conditions. Depending on the growth conditions, metallic or semiconducting graphitic nanoribbons are formed. Improvements in the growth method have potential to lead to bottom-up synthesis of pristine single-layer graphene nanoribbons.

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