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

Huang, Yinjuan, Xu, Fugui, Ganzer, Lucia, Camargo, Franco V. A., Nagahara, Tetsuhiko, Teyssandier, Joan, Van Gorp, Hans, Basse, Kristoffer, Straasø, Lasse Arnt, Nagyte, Vaiva, Casiraghi, Cinzia, Hansen, Michael Ryan, De Feyter, Steven, Yan, Deyue, Müllen, Klaus, Feng, Xinliang, Cerullo, Giulio, Mai, Yiyong
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2018 v.140 no.33 pp. 10416-10420
cycloaddition reactions, dispersibility, dispersions, graphene, nanomaterials, solvents, spectral analysis, tetrahydrofuran
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.