Atom-by-atom nucleation and growth of graphene nanopores

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Atom-by-atom nucleation and growth of graphene nanopores

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Title: Atom-by-atom nucleation and growth of graphene nanopores
Author: Russo, Craig Anthony; Golovchenko, Jene Andrew

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Citation: Russo, C. J., and J. A. Golovchenko. 2012. Atom-by-Atom Nucleation and Growth of Graphene Nanopores. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109, no. 16: 5953–5957. doi:10.1073/pnas.1119827109.
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Abstract: Graphene is an ideal thin membrane substrate for creating molecule-scale devices. Here we demonstrate a scalable method for creating extremely small structures in graphene with atomic precision. It consists of inducing defect nucleation centers with energetic ions, followed by edge-selective electron recoil sputtering. As a first application, we create graphene nanopores with radii as small as 3 Å, which corresponds to 10 atoms removed. We observe carbon atom removal from the nanopore edge in situ using an aberration-corrected electron microscope, measure the cross-section for the process, and obtain a mean edge atom displacement energy of 14.1 ± 0.1 eV. This approach does not require focused beams and allows scalable production of single nanopores and arrays of monodisperse nanopores for atomic-scale selectively permeable membranes.
Published Version: doi:10.1073/pnas.1119827109
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