2020 journal article
Engineering Edge States of Graphene Nanoribbons for Narrow-Band Photoluminescence
ACS NANO, 14(4), 5090–5098.
Solid-state narrow-band light emitters are on-demand for quantum optoelectronics. Current approaches based on defect engineering in low-dimensional materials usually introduce a broad range of emission centers. Here, we report narrow-band light emission from covalent heterostructures fused to the edges of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) by controllable on-surface reactions from molecular precursors. Two types of heterojunction (HJ) states are realized by sequentially synthesizing GNRs and graphene nanodots (GNDs) and then coupling them together. HJs between armchair GNDs and armchair edges of the GNR are coherent and give rise to narrow-band photoluminescence. In contrast, HJs between the armchair GNDs and the zigzag ends of GNRs are defective and give rise to nonradiative states near the Fermi level. At low temperatures, sharp photoluminescence emissions with peak energy range from 2.03 to 2.08 eV and line widths of 2-5 meV are observed. The radiative HJ states are uniform, and the optical transition energy is controlled by the band gaps of GNRs and GNDs. As these HJs can be synthesized in a large quantity with atomic precision, this finding highlights a route to programmable and deterministic creation of quantum light emitters.