Direct Observation of a Long-Lived Single-Atom Catalyst Chiseling Atomic Structures in Graphene

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Direct Observation of a Long-Lived Single-Atom Catalyst Chiseling Atomic Structures in Graphene

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Title: Direct Observation of a Long-Lived Single-Atom Catalyst Chiseling Atomic Structures in Graphene
Author: Wang, Wei Li; Santos, Elton J. G.; Jiang, Bin; Cubuk, Ekin Dogus; Ophus, Colin; Centeno, Alba; Pesquera, Amaia; Zurutuza, Amaia; Ciston, Jim; Westervelt, Robert M.; Kaxiras, Efthimios

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Citation: Wang, Wei Li, Elton J. G. Santos, Bin Jiang, Ekin Dogus Cubuk, Colin Ophus, Alba Centeno, Amaia Pesquera, et al. 2014. “Direct Observation of a Long-Lived Single-Atom Catalyst Chiseling Atomic Structures in Graphene.” Nano Letters 14 (2) (February 12): 450–455. doi:10.1021/nl403327u.
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Abstract: Fabricating stable functional devices at the atomic scale is an ultimate goal of nanotechnology. In biological processes, such high-precision operations are accomplished by enzymes. A counterpart molecular catalyst that binds to a solid-state substrate would be highly desirable. Here, we report the direct observation of single Si adatoms catalyzing the dissociation of carbon atoms from graphene in an aberration-corrected high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM). The single Si atom provides a catalytic wedge for energetic electrons to chisel off the graphene lattice, atom by atom, while the Si atom itself is not consumed. The products of the chiseling process are atomic-scale features including graphene pores and clean edges. Our experimental observations and first-principles calculations demonstrated the dynamics, stability, and selectivity of such a single-atom chisel, which opens up the possibility of fabricating certain stable molecular devices by precise modification of materials at the atomic scale.
Published Version: doi:10.1021/nl403327u
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:33373339
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