Transition-Metal-Catalyzed Unzipping of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes into Narrow Graphene Nanoribbons at Low Temperature


  • The work at SEU was supported by the NBRP (2010CB923401, 2011CB302004), NSF (11074035, 20873019), SRFDP (20090092110025), an Outstanding Young Faculty Grant, and the Peiyu Foundation of SEU in China. The work at PolyU was supported by the PolyU research fund (1-ZV3B; A-PD1U; A-PH93; A-PJ50). We thank the Department of Physics at SEU for the use of computational resources.


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Open, sesame! Graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) with smooth edges and controllable widths are crucial for graphene electronic and spintronic applications. High-quality narrow GNRs can be synthesized from single-walled carbon nanotubes at 200–300 °C using a Cu-atom catalyst, which dramatically reduces the energy barrier of unzipping from 3.11 to 1.16 eV.