Highly Selective Gas Sensors Based on Graphene Nanoribbons Grown by Chemical Vapor Deposition

Mikhail Shekhirev, Alexey Lipatov, Angel Torres, Nataliia S. Vorobeva, Ashley Harkleroad, Andrey Lashkov, Victor Sysoev, Alexander Sinitskii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Despite the recent advances in bottom-up synthesis of different kinds of atomically precise graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) with very diverse physical properties, the translation of these GNRs into electronic devices remains challenging. Among other factors, the electronic characterization of GNRs is hampered by their complex synthesis that often requires custom-made organic precursors and the need for their transfer to dielectric substrates compatible with the conventional device fabrication procedures. In this paper, we demonstrate that uniform electrically conductive GNR films can be grown on arbitrary higherature-resistant substrates, such as metals, Si/SiO2, or silica glasses, by a simple chemical vapor deposition (CVD) approach based on thermal decomposition of commercially available perylenetetracarboxylic dianhydride molecules. The results of spectroscopic and microscopic characterization of the CVD-grown films were consistent with the formation of oxygen-terminated N = 5 armchair GNRs. The CVD-grown nanoribbon films exhibited an ambipolar electric field effect and low on-off ratios, which were in agreement with the predicted metallic properties of N = 5 armchair GNRs, and remarkable gas sensing properties to a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We fabricated a GNR-based electronic nose system that could reliably recognize VOCs from different chemical classes including alcohols (methanol, ethanol, and isopropanol) and amines (n-butylamine, diethylamine, and triethylamine). The simplicity of the described CVD approach and its compatibility with the conventional device fabrication procedures, as well as the demonstrated sensitivity of the GNR devices to a variety of VOCs, warrant further investigation of CVD-grown nanoribbons for sensing applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7392-7402
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 12 2020


  • bottom-up synthesis
  • chemical vapor deposition
  • electronic nose
  • gas sensors
  • graphene nanoribbons
  • perylenetetracarboxylic dianhydride (PTCDA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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