Poly(ethylene oxide) Functionalized Graphene Nanoribbons with Excellent Solution Processability

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Yinjuan Huang
  • Yiyong Mai
  • Uliana Beser
  • Joan Teyssandier
  • Gangamallaiah Velpula
  • Hans Van Gorp
  • Lasse Arnt Straasø
  • Michael Ryan Hansen
  • Daniele Rizzo
  • Rong Yang
  • Guangyu Zhang
  • Dongqing Wu
  • Fan Zhang
  • Deyue Yan
  • Steven De Feyter
  • Klaus Müllen
  • Xinliang Feng


Structurally well-defined graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) have attracted great interest as next-generation semiconductor materials. The functionalization of GNRs with polymeric side chains, which can widely broaden GNR-related studies on physiochemical properties and potential applications, has remained unexplored. Here, we demonstrate the bottom-up solution synthesis of defect-free GNRs grafted with flexible poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) chains. The GNR backbones possess an armchair edge structure with a width of 1.0-1.7 nm and mean lengths of 15-60 nm, enabling near-infrared absorption and a low bandgap of 1.3 eV. Remarkably, the PEO grafting renders the GNRs superb dispersibility in common organic solvents, with a record concentration of ∼1 mg mL-1 (for GNR backbone) that is much higher than that (-1) of reported GNRs. Moreover, the PEO-functionalized GNRs can be readily dispersed in water, accompanying with supramolecular helical nanowire formation. Scanning probe microscopy reveals raft-like self-assembled monolayers of uniform GNRs on graphite substrates. Thin-film-based field-effect transistors (FETs) of the GNRs exhibit a high carrier mobility of ∼0.3 cm2 V-1 s-1, manifesting promising application of the polymer-functionalized GNRs in electronic devices.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10136-10139
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number32
Early online date27 Jul 2016
StatePublished - 17 Aug 2016