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Nitrogen-Doped Graphitic Nanoribbons: Synthesis, Characterization, and Transport

Authors

  • Josue Ortiz-Medina,

    1. Advanced Materials Department, IPICYT, Camino a Presa San José 2055, Lomas 4a sección, San Luis Potosí 78216, México
    2. Department of Physics,The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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  • M. Luisa García-Betancourt,

    1. Advanced Materials Department, IPICYT, Camino a Presa San José 2055, Lomas 4a sección, San Luis Potosí 78216, México
    2. Department of Physics,The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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  • Xiaoting Jia,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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  • Rafael Martínez-Gordillo,

    1. Centre d'Investigació en Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (CSIC-ICN), Campus de la UAB, E-08193 Bellaterra, Spain
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  • Miguel A. Pelagio-Flores,

    1. Departamento de Química Fundamental, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, 50740-540 Recife, PE, Brazil
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  • David Swanson,

    1. Chemistry and Physics Departments, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD 57197, USA
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  • Ana Laura Elías,

    1. Department of Physics,The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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  • Humberto R. Gutiérrez,

    1. Department of Physics,The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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  • Eduardo Gracia-Espino,

    1. Advanced Materials Department, IPICYT, Camino a Presa San José 2055, Lomas 4a sección, San Luis Potosí 78216, México
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  • Vincent Meunier,

    1. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
    2. Department of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180-3590, USA
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  • Jonathan Owens,

    1. Department of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180-3590, USA
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  • Bobby G. Sumpter,

    1. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
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  • Eduardo Cruz-Silva,

    1. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
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  • Fernando J. Rodríguez-Macías,

    1. Advanced Materials Department, IPICYT, Camino a Presa San José 2055, Lomas 4a sección, San Luis Potosí 78216, México
    2. Departamento de Química Fundamental, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, 50740-540 Recife, PE, Brazil
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  • Florentino López-Urías,

    1. Advanced Materials Department, IPICYT, Camino a Presa San José 2055, Lomas 4a sección, San Luis Potosí 78216, México
    2. Department of Physics,The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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  • Emilio Muñoz-Sandoval,

    1. Advanced Materials Department, IPICYT, Camino a Presa San José 2055, Lomas 4a sección, San Luis Potosí 78216, México
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  • Mildred S. Dresselhaus,

    1. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    2. Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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  • Humberto Terrones,

    1. Department of Physics,The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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  • Mauricio Terrones

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physics,The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
    2. Shinshu University, Research Center for Exotic Nanocarbons, Nagano 3808553, Japan
    • Department of Physics,The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.
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Abstract

Nitrogen-doped graphitic nanoribbons (Nx-GNRs), synthesized by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) using pyrazine as a nitrogen precursor, are reported for the first time. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) reveal that the synthesized materials are formed by multilayered corrugated GNRs, which in most cases exhibit the formation of curved graphene edges (loops). This suggests that during growth, nitrogen atoms promote loop formation; undoped GNRs do not form loops at their edges. Transport measurements on individual pure GNRs exhibit a linear IV (current-voltage) behavior, whereas Nx-GNRs show reduced current responses following a semiconducting-like behavior, which becomes more prominent for high nitrogen concentrations. To better understand the experimental findings, electron density of states (DOS), quantum conductance for nitrogen-doped zigzag and armchair single-layer GNRs are calculated for different N doping concentrations using density functional theory (DFT) and non-equilibrium Green functions. These calculations confirm the crucial role of nitrogen atoms in the transport properties, confirming that the nonlinear IV curves are due to the presence of nitrogen atoms within the Nx-GNRs lattice that act as scattering sites. These characteristic Nx-GNRs transport properties could be advantageous in the fabrication of electronic devices including sensors in which metal-like undoped GNRs are unsuitable.

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