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Graphene nanoribbons for quantum electronics

Abstract

Graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) are a family of one-dimensional (1D) materials with a graphitic lattice structure. GNRs possess high mobility and current-carrying capability, sizeable bandgap and versatile electronic properties, which make them promising candidates for quantum electronic applications. In the past 5 years, progress has been made towards atomically precise bottom-up synthesis of GNRs and heterojunctions that provide an ideal platform for functional molecular devices, as well as successful production of semiconducting GNR arrays on insulating substrates potentially useful for large-scale digital circuits. With further development, GNRs can be envisioned as a competitive candidate material in future quantum information sciences. In this Perspective, we discuss recent progress in GNR research and identify key challenges and new directions likely to develop in the near future.

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Fig. 1: Synthesis of graphene nanoribbons on catalytic surfaces.
Fig. 2: Chemical vapour deposition synthesis and epitaxy on scalable and technologically relevant substrates.
Fig. 3: Six proposed device architectures based on graphene nanoribbons.

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Acknowledgements

The work was partially supported by the National Key R&D Program (Grant No. 2017YFF0206106), the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDB30000000), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61734003, 61521001, 61927808, 61851401, 91964202, 61861166001, 51861145202, 51772317, 91964102, 12004406, 22002149), the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (Grant No. 20DZ2203600), Leading-edge Technology Program of Jiangsu Natural Science Foundation (Grant No. BK20202005), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant No. BX2021331), Collaborative Innovation Center of Solid-State Lighting and Energy-Saving Electronics, the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China, and Soft Matter Nanofab (SMN180827) of ShanghaiTech University. C.M. acknowledges support from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). A portion of the work (A.-P.L) was conducted at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS), which is a DOE Office of Science User Facility, and supported by grant ONR N00014-20-1-2302.

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X.W. conceived the Perspective article. H.W., A.-P.L., X.X. and X.W. drafted the manuscript, with contributions from H.S.W., C.M., L.C., C.J. and C.C. All authors have read, discussed and contributed to the writing of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Haomin Wang, Xiaoming Xie, An-Ping Li or Xinran Wang.

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Glossary

Chirality

Characterized by a chiral vector, including width, lattice orientation and edge structure, in graphene nanoribbons.

Coherence time

The time over which a propagating wave may be considered coherent, meaning that its phase is, on average, predictable.

Cyclodehydrogenation

Any reaction in which cyclization is accompanied by dehydrogenation.

Equivalent oxide thickness

The thickness of silicon oxide film that provides the same electrical performance as that of a high-κ material being used.

International Roadmap for Devices and Systems

An intention is to provide a clear outline to simplify academic, manufacturing, supply and research coordination regarding the development of electronic devices and systems.

Pitch

The distance between adjacent graphene nanoribbons.

Subthreshold swing

The exponential behaviour of the current as a function of voltage.

Technology node

The Si technology node, defined by the smallest feature size in the transistor.

Topological boundary states

States that occur in the gap that results from the breaking of the two degenerate bands with non-zero opposite Chern numbers.

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Wang, H., Wang, H.S., Ma, C. et al. Graphene nanoribbons for quantum electronics. Nat Rev Phys 3, 791–802 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s42254-021-00370-x

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