Large-Scale Production of Graphene Nanoribbons from Electrospun Polymers

Graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) are promising building blocks for high-performance electronics due to their high electron mobility and dimensionality-induced bandgap. Despite many past efforts, direct synthesis of GNRs with controlled dimensions and scalability remains challenging. Here we report the scalable synthesis of GNRs using electrospun polymer nanofiber templates. Palladium-incorporated poly­(4-vinylphenol) nanofibers were prepared by electrospinning with controlled diameter and orientation. Highly graphitized GNRs as narrow as 10 nm were then synthesized from these templates by chemical vapor deposition. A transport gap can be observed in 30 nm-wide GNRs, enabling them to function as field-effect transistors at room temperature. Our results represent the first success on the scalable synthesis of highly graphitized GNRs from polymer templates. Furthermore, the generality of this method allows various polymers to be explored, which will lead to understanding of growth mechanism and rational control over crystallinity, feature size and bandgap to enable a new pathway for graphene electronics.