Catalytic cutting by transition-metal (TM) particles is a promising method for the synthesizing of high-quality graphene quantum dots and nanoribbons with smooth edges. Experimentally, it is observed that the cutting always results in channels with zigzag (ZZ) or armchair (AC) edges. However, the driving force that is responsible for such a cutting behavior remains a puzzle. Here, by calculating the interfacial formation energies of the TM-graphene edges with ab initio method, we show that the surface of a catalyst particle tends to be aligned along either AC or ZZ direction of the graphene lattice, and thus the cutting of graphene is guided as such. The different cutting behaviors of various catalysts are well-explained based on the competition between TM-passivated graphene edges and the etching-agent-terminated ones. Furthermore, the kinetics of graphene catalytic cutting along ZZ and AC directions, respectively, are explored at the atomic level.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters|
|Publication status||Published - 3 Apr 2014|
- ab initio calculations
- heterogeneous catalysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)