Strain-activated edge reconstruction of graphene nanoribbons

Yingchun Cheng, Yu Han, Udo Schwingenschlögl, H. T. Wang, Xixiang Zhang, Yihan Zhu, Zhiyong Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

The edge structure and width of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) are crucial factors for the electronic properties. A combination of experiment and first-principles calculations allows us to determine the mechanism of the hexagon-hexagon to pentagon-heptagon transformation. GNRs thinner than 2 nm have been fabricated by bombardment of graphene with high-energetic Au clusters. The edges of the GNRs are modified in situ by electron irradiation. Tensile strain along the edge decreases the transformation energy barrier. Antiferromagnetism and a direct band gap are found for a zigzag GNR, while a fully reconstructed GNR shows an indirect band gap. A GNR reconstructed on only one edge exhibits ferromagnetism. We propose that strain is an effective method to tune the edge and, therefore, the electronic structure of thin GNRs for graphene-based electronics.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review B
Volume85
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 17 2012

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