Synthesis of graphene nanoribbons with a defined mixed edge-site sequence by surface assisted polymerization of (1,6)-dibromopyrene on Ag(110)

by M. Smerieri, I Píš, L. Ferrighi, S. Nappini, A. Lusuan, C. Di Valentin, L. Vaghi, A. Papagni, M. Cattelan, S. Agnoli, E. Magnano, F. Bondino and Letizia Savio
Nanoscale, 2016, 8, pp 17843 - 17853                View at Publisher
DOI: 10.1039/C6NR05952J

By a combination of scanning tunneling microscopy, X-ray spectroscopic techniques and density functional theory calculations, we prove the formation of extended patterns of parallel, graphene nanoribbons with alternate zig-zag and armchair edges and selected width by surface-assisted Ullmann coupling polymerization and dehydrogenation of 1,6-dibromopyrene (C16H8Br2). Besides the relevance of these nanostructures for their possible application in nanodevices, we demonstrate the peculiarity of halogenated pyrene derivatives for the formation of nanoribbons, in particular on Ag(110). These results open the possibility of tuning the shape and dimension of nanoribbons (and hence the correlated electronic properties) by choosing suitably tailored or on-purpose designed molecular precursors.