Nanoscale imaging of electric pathways in epitaxial graphene nanoribbons
Graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) are considered as major building blocks in future carbon-based electronics. The electronic performance of graphene nanostructures is essentially influenced and determined by their edge termination and their supporting substrate. In particular, semi-conducting, as well as metallic GNRs, can be fabricated by choosing the proper template which is favorable for device architecture designs. This study highlights the impact of microscopic details of the environment of the GNRs on the charge transport in GNRs. By means of lateral force, conductive atomic force and nanoprobe measurements, we explore the charge propagation in both zig-zag and armchair GNRs epitaxially grown on SiC templates. We directly image transport channels on the nanoscale and identify SiC substrate steps and nano-instabilities of SiC facets as dominant charge scattering centers.
Keywordssidewall graphene nanoribbons nanoprobe conductive-AFM nanoscale transport
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J. A. and C. T. gratefully acknowledge financial support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Te386/12-1). P. B. and H. J. W. Z. thank the Nederlandse organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) for financial support. A. Z. acknowledges the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsradet) for the Tailspin project support.
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