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Promising new approach for controlled fabrication of carbon nanostructures

January 05, 2016

- An international team of researchers including Professor Federico Rosei and members of his group at INRS has developed a new strategy for fabricating atomically controlled carbon nanostructures used in molecular carbon-based electronics. An article just published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications presents their findings: the complete electronic structure of a conjugated organic polymer, and the influence of the substrate on its electronic properties.

The researchers combined two procedures previously developed in Professor Rosei's lab--molecular self-assembly and chain polymerization--to produce a network of long-range poly(para-phenylene) (PPP) nanowires on a copper (Cu) surface. Using advanced technologies such as scanning tunneling microscopy and photoelectron spectroscopy as well as theoretical models, they were able to describe the morphology and electronic structure of these nanostructures.

"We provide a complete description of the band structure and also highlight the strong interaction between the polymer and the substrate, which explains both the decreased bandgap and the metallic nature of the new chains. Even with this hybridization, the PPP bands display a quasi one-dimensional dispersion in conductive polymeric nanowires," said Professor Federico Rosei, one of the authors of the study.

Although further research is needed to fully describe the electronic properties of these nanostructures, the polymer's dispersion provides a spectroscopic record of the polymerization process of certain types of molecules on gold, silver, copper, and other surfaces. It's a promising approach for similar semiconductor studies--an essential step in the development of actual devices.

The results of the study could be used in designing organic nanostructures, with significant potential applications in nanoelectronics, including photovoltaic devices, field-effect transistors, light-emitting diodes, and sensors.
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About the article

This study was designed by Yannick Fagot-Revurat and Daniel Malterre of Université de Lorraine/CNRS, Federico Rosei of INRS, Josh Lipton-Duffin of the Institute for Future Environments (Australia), Giorgio Contini of the Italian National Research Council, and Dmytro F. Perepichka of McGill University. The results are published in Nature Communications (DOI :10.1038/NCOMMS10235) in an article entitled "Quasi one-Dimensional Band Dispersion and Surface Metallization in Long Range Ordered Polymeric Wires." The researchers were generously supported by Conseil Franco-Québécois de coopération universitaire, the France-Italy International Program for Scientific Cooperation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Fonds québécois de recherche - Nature et technologies, and a Québec MEIE grant (in collaboration with Belgium).

About INRS

Institut national de recherche scientifique (INRS) is a graduate-level research and training university and ranks first in Canada for research intensity (average funding per professor). INRS brings together some 150 professors and close to 700 students and postdoctoral fellows at its four centres in Montreal, Quebec City, Laval, and Varennes. Its basic research is essential to the advancement of science in Quebec and internationally, and its research teams play a key role in the development of concrete solutions to the problems faced by our society.

Institut national de la recherche scientifique - INRS

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