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Rapid trench channeling of graphenes with catalytic silver nanoparticles


N. Severin, S. Kirstein, I.M. Sokolov, J.P. Rabe

Nano Lett. 9, 457-461 (2009)



We demonstrate trench channeling of mono- and multilayer graphenes with silver nano-particles with high speed in ambient environment and at elevated temperatures. A silver nanoparticle located at a graphene edge catalyzes oxidation of neighboring carbon atoms, thereby burning a trench into the graphene layer. High-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy imaging reveals that the trench edges are very smooth with a peak-to-peak roughness below 2 nm. We discuss the channeling mechanism and demonstrate that channeling speeds of up to 250 nm/s and the smoothness of the resulting trenches indicate the prospect of a “catalytic pen” for high-precision lithography on graphenes.