Intrinsic Properties of Single Graphene Nanoribbons in Solution: Synthetic and Spectroscopic Studies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Yinjuan Huang
  • Fugui Xu
  • Lucia Ganzer
  • Franco V.A. Camargo
  • Tetsuhiko Nagahara
  • Joan Teyssandier
  • Hans Van Gorp
  • Kristoffer Basse
  • Lasse Arnt Straasø
  • Vaiva Nagyte
  • Michael Ryan Hansen
  • Steven De Feyter
  • Deyue Yan
  • Klaus Müllen
  • Xinliang Feng
  • Giulio Cerullo
  • Yiyong Mai


We report a novel type of structurally defined graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) with uniform width of 1.7 nm and average length up to 58 nm. These GNRs are decorated with pending Diels–Alder cycloadducts of anthracenyl units and N-n-hexadecyl maleimide. The resultant bulky side groups on GNRs afford excellent dispersibility with concentrations of up to 5 mg mL–1 in many organic solvents such as tetrahydrofuran (THF), two orders of magnitude higher than the previously reported GNRs. Multiple spectroscopic studies confirm that dilute dispersions in THF (<0.1 mg mL–1) consist mainly of nonaggregated ribbons, exhibiting near-infrared emission with high quantum yield (9.1%) and long lifetime (8.7 ns). This unprecedented dispersibility allows resolving in real-time ultrafast excited-state dynamics of the GNRs, which displays features of small isolated molecules in solution. This study achieves a breakthrough in the dispersion of GNRs, which opens the door for unveiling obstructed GNR-based physical properties and potential applications.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10416–10420
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number33
Early online date7 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2018