Deriving carbon atomic chains from graphene

Phys Rev Lett. 2009 May 22;102(20):205501. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.102.205501. Epub 2009 May 18.


Stable and rigid carbon atomic chains were experimentally realized by removing carbon atoms row by row from graphene through the controlled energetic electron irradiation inside a transmission electron microscope. The observed structural dynamics of carbon atomic chains such as formation, migration, and breakage were well explained by density-functional theory calculations. The method we reported here is promising to investigate all-carbon-based devices with the carbon atomic chains as the conducting channel, which can be regarded as the ultimate basic component of molecular devices.