Bottom-Up Synthesis Of Graphene Nanoribbons

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Graphene has seized the interest of many researchers and scientists because of its unique electronic, thermal, mechanical, and optical properties.  There is an added benefit to producing narrower strips of graphene, known as graphene nanoribbons (GNRs), because of their expanded array of uses.  Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno have optimized the synthesis of GNRs, leading to an efficient production of ultra-narrow and highly soluble arm-chair-edge GNRs.



Our invention presents a novel approach of assembling GNRs through a total synthesis from simple starting methods that uses an alkyne benzannulation strategy promoted by a Brønsted acid.  This technology can be applied to numerous applications such as in optoelectronics or other technologies including field-effect transistors.  Our method will benefit the industry because the efficient and rational bottom-up synthesis technique will produce atomically precise GNRs in greater amounts compared to other approaches.



  • The GNR would have better control of the size, shape, and functionalization compared to using a top-down method which would lead to a decreased quality in the GNR.
  • The narrow structure allows for a band gap which leads to use in more applications such as in field effect transistors.
  • The GNR would have improved solubility and material properties.
  • Our method can produce soluble and narrow GNRs, less than 10 nm wide, in bulk quantities.








Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Ray Siripirom
Senior Licensing Associate
University of Nevada, Reno
Wesley Chalifoux
Wenlong Yang
Kyle Sproul
Engineering & Manufacturing