Graphene Nanoribbon Photovoltaics

Case ID:


Graphene and graphene nanoribbons (GNRs), due to their excellent electronic and mechanical properties, have long been of interest in the field of electronic applications. GNRs, in particular, have a tunable bandgap controlled by their width, which provides a flexible platform for various applications. However, the application of GNRs has primarily been limited to conductive interlayers and electrodes for photovoltaics, until now.


Our technology pushes the application of GNRs further, proposing them as a photoactive layer in photovoltaic applications. This work utilizes the bottom-up synthesis approach of nonoxidative alkyne benzannulation to fabricate GNRs of precise ribbon widths and minimized edge defects. These are then used to construct photovoltaic cells, where GNRs serve as the photoactive material generating photocurrent across the solar spectrum, ranging from the ultraviolet region to beyond 1000 nm in the near-infrared.


  • Precision and Control: The nonoxidative alkyne benzannulation synthesis provides precise control over the width of the GNRs, allowing for tuning of their bandgaps.
  • Broad Photocurrent Generation: The GNRs in this application are capable of generating photocurrent across a broad spectrum - from ultraviolet to near-infrared.
  • Low Cost and Low Toxicity: GNRs are an affordable and environmentally friendly material, making them an appealing option for future development.
  • Flexibility for Future Development: The technology highlights the areas for further improvement, including charge collection and hopping, thus providing a roadmap for enhancing device performance.

Related Patent and Publication

  • Patent pending
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Ray Siripirom
Senior Licensing Associate
University of Nevada, Reno
Wesley Chalifoux
Richard Lunt
Ryan Malone
Matthew Bates