Quantum-confined electronic states in atomically well-defined graphene nanostructures

Sampsa K. Hämäläinen, Zhixiang Sun, Mark P. Boneschanscher, Andreas Uppstu, Mari Ijäs, Ari Harju, Daniël Vanmaekelbergh, Peter Liljeroth (Corresponding author)

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96 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the enormous interest in the properties of graphene and the potential of graphene nanostructures in electronic applications, the study of quantum-confined states in atomically well-defined graphene nanostructures remains an experimental challenge. Here, we study graphene quantum dots (GQDs) with well-defined edges in the zigzag direction, grown by chemical vapor deposition on an Ir(111) substrate by low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy. We measure the atomic structure and local density of states of individual GQDs as a function of their size and shape in the range from a couple of nanometers up to ca. 20 nm. The results can be quantitatively modeled by a relativistic wave equation and atomistic tight-binding calculations. The observed states are analogous to the solutions of the textbook "particle-in-a-box" problem applied to relativistic massless fermions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number236803
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


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