Microwave heating as a universal method to transform confined molecules into armchair graphene nanoribbons

Haoyuan Zhang, Yingzhi Chen, Kunpeng Tang, Ziheng Lin, Xuan Li, Hongwei Zhang, Yifan Zhang, Chi Ho Wong, Chi Wah Leung, Chee Leung Mak, Yuan Hu, Weili Cui, Kecheng Cao, Lei Shi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Armchair graphene nanoribbons (AGNRs) with sub-nanometer width are potential materials for the fabrication of novel nanodevices thanks to their moderate direct band gaps. AGNRs are usually synthesized by polymerizing precursor molecules on substrate surface. However, it is time-consuming and not suitable for large-scale production. AGNRs can also be grown by transforming precursor molecules inside single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) via furnace annealing, but the obtained AGNRs are normally twisted. In this work, microwave heating is applied for transforming precursor molecules into AGNRs. The fast heating process allows synthesizing the AGNRs in seconds. Several different molecules were successfully transformed into AGNRs, suggesting that it is a universal method. More importantly, as demonstrated by Raman spectroscopy, aberration-corrected high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and theoretical calculations, less twisted AGNRs are synthesized by the microwave heating than the furnace annealing. Our results reveal a route for rapid production of AGNRs in large scale, which would benefit future applications in novel AGNRs-based semiconductor devices. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10644-10651
Number of pages8
JournalNano Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • armchair graphene nanoribbons (AGNRs)
  • microwave heating
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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