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Institute for Commercialization

Production of Graphene Nanoribbons with Controlled Dimensions and Crystallographic Orientation

Reference Number: K 09-18

Inventors: Berry, Vikas; Mohanty, Nihar

Owner: Kansas State University Research Foundation


Invention Summary

Research at Kansas State University has developed a high-throughput method for enabling controlled production of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) with predictable metallic or semiconducting electrical properties. The process can control the band gap of the GNRs by controlling its width (from 5 nm to 200 nanometers (nm) with a 1 nm resolution), and crystallographic orientation (zigzag, armchair or mixed).

This method is unique, simple, highly robust and highly effective in obtaining GNRs and other graphene nanostructures under a high level of control. Highly-oriented-pyrolytic-graphite (HOPG) is sliced by a diamond knife, producing graphite nanoblocks (GNBs) of precisely controlled width and atomic orientation. These GNB are then chemically exfoliated to produce GNRs. In opposition to the existing, this method produces low-defect GNRs at high throughput with highly controlled crystallography.


  • High throughput GNR production with predictable metallic and semiconducting properties via improved control on band gap.

  • Width controlled at 1 nm resolution.

  • Controlled crystallographic orientations.

  • Production of other controlled nanoshapes.


Development of high performance GNRs is beneficial to various electronic, optoelectronic and semiconducting industries, with interest in the following products and services:

  • Ultrahigh speed transistors

  • Electronic & optoelectronic devices

  • Sensors (biological, physical, etc.)

  • Solar cells

  • Logic devices

  • Actuators

  • Coulomb blockade devices

  • Ultra-strong composite paper

  • Field emission devices

  • Transparent electrodes

  • Conductive pastes

  • Optical/fluorescent devices

This method also presents potential for application of graphene in biological devices.