3D design leads to the first stable and strong self-assembly 1D nanographene wires
An international team of researchers has developed self-assembling, stable and resistant nanographene wires. The team set out to synthesize endlessly curved and stacked nanographene, like chips in a cardboard box, which can be assembled into nanowires.
Efficiently stacked hydrocarbon wires have the potential to be used as a variety of nano-semiconductor materials. Previously, it was necessary to introduce substituents which are not linked or inhibit the desired electronic function in order to control the assembly of the wires.
By removing substituents, or additives, from the manufacturing process, researchers can develop molecular materials that have a specific and desired electronic function. With that goal in mind, the team developed a molecule called ‘bitten’ deformed nanographene (bWNG), with 68 carbon atoms and 28 hydrogen atoms forming a ‘bitten apple’ shape. Created as a solution, when allowed to evaporate for 24 hours in the presence of hexane, an ingredient in gasoline with six carbon atoms, bWNG becomes a gel.
Researchers attempted to recrystallize molecules from the original solution to examine the specific structure of the bWNG gel by X-ray crystallography. This technique can reveal the atomic and molecular structure of a crystal by irradiating the structure with X-rays and observing their diffraction.
They attempted to recrystallize several times to determine the structure, but it only reached a few hundred nanometers, noting that this size is much too small for X-ray crystallography. This is only by electron diffraction. , a new method of determining the structure of organic materials, that they were able to analyze the structure.
Electron diffraction is similar to x-ray crystallography, but it uses electrons instead of x-rays, resulting in an interference pattern with the sample material that indicates the internal structure.
They discovered that the bWNG gel was made of double-stranded, double-helix nanofibers that came together from curved, stackable nanographene.
The structure of nanofibers is a double double strand helix, which is very stable and therefore solid. Next, we would like to make a semiconductor wire made entirely of carbon atoms.