Porphyrin-fused graphene nanoribbons

Nat Chem. 2024 Mar 8. doi: 10.1038/s41557-024-01477-1. Online ahead of print.


Graphene nanoribbons (GNRs), nanometre-wide strips of graphene, are promising materials for fabricating electronic devices. Many GNRs have been reported, yet no scalable strategies are known for synthesizing GNRs with metal atoms and heteroaromatic units at precisely defined positions in the conjugated backbone, which would be valuable for tuning their optical, electronic and magnetic properties. Here we report the solution-phase synthesis of a porphyrin-fused graphene nanoribbon (PGNR). This PGNR has metalloporphyrins fused into a twisted fjord-edged GNR backbone; it consists of long chains (>100 nm), with a narrow optical bandgap (~1.0 eV) and high local charge mobility (>400 cm2 V-1 s-1 by terahertz spectroscopy). We use this PGNR to fabricate ambipolar field-effect transistors with appealing switching behaviour, and single-electron transistors displaying multiple Coulomb diamonds. These results open an avenue to π-extended nanostructures with engineerable electrical and magnetic properties by transposing the coordination chemistry of porphyrins into graphene nanoribbons.