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Chin. Phys. B, 2021, Vol. 30(7): 077306    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/abfbd0

Fabrication of sulfur-doped cove-edged graphene nanoribbons on Au(111)

Huan Yang(杨欢)1,†, Yixuan Gao(高艺璇)1,†, Wenhui Niu(牛雯慧)2,3,†, Xiao Chang(常霄)1, Li Huang(黄立)1,‡, Junzhi Liu(刘俊治)2,4, Yiyong Mai(麦亦勇)3, Xinliang Feng(冯新亮)2,§, Shixuan Du(杜世萱)1,5,¶, and Hong-Jun Gao(高鸿钧)1,5
1 Institute of Physics and University of Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS), Beijing 100190, China;
2 Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden(cfaed) & Faculty of Chemistry and Food Chemistry, Technische Universität Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany;
3 School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Frontiers Science Center for Transformative Molecules, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Electrical Insulation and Thermal Ageing, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China;
4 Department of Chemistry and State Key Laboratory of Synthetic Chemistry, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China;
5 CAS Center for Excellence in Topological Quantum Computation, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
Abstract  The on-surface synthesis from predesigned organic precursors can yield graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) with atomically precise widths, edge terminations and dopants, which facilitate the tunning of their electronic structures. Here, we report the synthesis of novel sulfur-doped cove-edged GNRs (S-CGNRs) on Au(111) from a specifically designed precursor containing thiophene rings. Scanning tunneling microscopy and non-contact atomic force microscopy measurements elucidate the formation of S-CGNRs through subsequent polymerization and cyclodehydrogenation, which further result in crosslinked branched structures. Scanning tunneling spectroscopy results reveal the conduction band minimum of the S-CGNR locates at 1.2 eV. First-principles calculations show that the S-CGNR possesses an energy bandgap of 1.17 eV, which is evidently smaller than that of an undoped cove-edged GNR (1.7 eV), suggesting effective tuning of the bandgap by introducing sulfur atoms. Further increasing the coverage of precursors close to a monolayer results in the formation of linear-shaped S-CGNRs. The fabrication of S-CGNRs provides one more candidate in the GNR toolbox and promotes the future applications of heteroatom-doped graphene nanostructures.
Keywords:  on-surface synthesis      sulfur-doped cove-edged graphene nanoribbons      scanning tunneling microscopy      non-contact atomic force microscopy  
Received:  01 April 2021      Revised:  22 April 2021      Accepted manuscript online:  27 April 2021
PACS:  73.22.Pr (Electronic structure of graphene)  
  68.37.Ef (Scanning tunneling microscopy (including chemistry induced with STM))  
  85.65.+h (Molecular electronic devices)  
  71.15.Mb (Density functional theory, local density approximation, gradient and other corrections)  
Fund: Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51761135130, 61888102, and 21774076), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant Nos. 2018YFA0305800 and 2019YFA0308500), the DFG EnhanceNano (Grant No. 391979941), the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant Nos. XDB30000000), the International Partnership Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. 112111KYSB20160061), and the K C Wong Education Foundation and the Program of Shanghai Academic Research Leader (Grant No. 19XD1421700).
Corresponding Authors:  Li Huang, Xinliang Feng, Shixuan Du     E-mail:;;

Cite this article: 

Huan Yang(杨欢), Yixuan Gao(高艺璇), Wenhui Niu(牛雯慧), Xiao Chang(常霄), Li Huang(黄立), Junzhi Liu(刘俊治), Yiyong Mai(麦亦勇), Xinliang Feng(冯新亮), Shixuan Du(杜世萱), and Hong-Jun Gao(高鸿钧) Fabrication of sulfur-doped cove-edged graphene nanoribbons on Au(111) 2021 Chin. Phys. B 30 077306

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