At widths below 10 nm, armchair graphene nanoribbons become semiconductors. One promising route to synthesize nanoribbons is chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of hydrocarbons on Ge(001), and synthesis from seeds reduces nanoribbon polydispersity. In this contribution, we advance the seed-initiated synthesis of nanoribbons and explore the impact of seed size and nanoribbon spacing on growth kinetics. Periodic arrays of graphene seeds are lithographically patterned and etched to reduce their diameter. The viability of initiating synthesis from sub-5 nm seeds is demonstrated, and the pitch between nanoribbons is reduced from 500 to 50 nm to show that crowding effects do not perturb nanoribbon growth kinetics. The invariance of kinetics with pitch in combination with density functional theory (DFT) calculations indicate that (1) the growth species for synthesis has a diffusion length of 50 nm and/or (2) the kinetics are strongly attachment-limited. These results demonstrate that seed-initiated synthesis on Ge(001) is a promising route for creating dense arrays of armchair graphene nanoribbons for semiconductor electronics applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Materials Science
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry