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Atomically precise nanoelectronic materials

Final Report Summary - PRECISE-NANO (Atomically precise nanoelectronic materials)

This project has focussed on controlled fabrication of nanomaterials with atomically well-defined structures and their geometrical and electrical characterization using advanced microscopic techniques. The results that we have obtained (see below) are important basic research steps towards so-called post-CMOS electronics, i.e. construction of electronic devices that are not based on the current silicon technology.

Graphene nanostructures hold promise for future electronic devices. However, to realize the full potential of these materials, atomic-scale control over both the active region and the contacts to graphene nanostructure forming the active part of the device is required. We have demonstrated formation of extremely narrow graphene nanoribbons and how they can electrically contacted with atomic-level precision.

It has been theoretically predicted that electronic effects on different types of graphene edges offer exciting prospects for constructing new types of electronic devices that have no analogues in silicon-based technology. The scarcity of experimental results stems from the difficulty in realizing clean graphene edges without disorder, reconstructions or the presence of chemical functional groups. We have used the very recent idea of two-dimensional epitaxy to stabilize graphene edges by growing hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) from zigzag-terminated graphene edges. We demonstrated that these experimentally realizable, chemically and thermodynamically stable interfaces support graphene zig-zag interface states that are very similar to the pristine graphene edge states.