3 years ago

Monitoring the On-Surface Synthesis of Graphene Nanoribbons by Mass Spectrometry

Monitoring the On-Surface Synthesis of Graphene Nanoribbons by Mass Spectrometry
Bo Yang, Klaus Müllen, Hans Joachim Räder, Akimitsu Narita, Gabriela Borin Barin, Xiao-Ye Wang, Wen Zhang, Pascal Ruffieux, Zongping Chen, Xinliang Feng, Reinhard Berger, Roman Fasel
We present a mass spectrometric approach to characterize and monitor the intermediates of graphene nanoribbon (GNR) formation by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) on top of Au(111) surfaces. Information regarding the repeating units, lengths, and termini can be obtained directly from the surface sample by a modified matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) method. The mass spectrometric results reveal ample oxidative side reactions under CVD conditions that can be drastically diminished by the introduction of protective H2 gas at ambient pressure. Simultaneously, the addition of hydrogen extends the lengths of the oligophenylenes and thus the final GNRs. Moreover, the prematurely formed cyclodehydrogenation products during the oligomer growth can be assigned by the mass spectrometric technique. The obtained mechanistic insights provide valuable information for optimizing and upscaling the bottom-up fabrication of GNRs. Given the important role of GNRs as semiconductors, the mass spectrometric analysis provides a readily available tool to characterize and improve their structural perfection.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.7b01135

DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.7b01135

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