A novel material, graphene nanoribbons encapsulated in single-walled carbon nanotubes (GNR@SWNT), was synthesized using confined polymerization and fusion of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules. Formation of the GNR is possible due to confinement effects provided by the one-dimensional space inside nanotubes, which helps to align coronene or perylene molecules edge to edge to achieve dimerization and oligomerization of the molecules into long nanoribbons. Almost 100% filling of SWNT with GNR is achieved while nanoribbon length is limited only by the length of the encapsulating nanotube. The PAH fusion reaction provides a very simple and easily scalable method to synthesize GNR@SWNT in macroscopic amounts. First-principle simulations indicate that encapsulation of the GNRs is energetically favorable and that the electronic structure of the encapsulated GNRs is the same as for the free-standing ones, pointing to possible applications of the GNR@SWNT structures in photonics and nanoelectronics.
- carbon nanotubes
- graphene nanoribbons
- polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons