Research Article


2018, 11(5): 2405–2411


Single Cr atom catalytic growth of graphene

Huy Q. Ta1,2,3,§, Liang Zhao1,2,§, Wanjian Yin1,2 (*), Darius Pohl4, Bernd Rellinghaus4, Thomas Gemming4, Barbara Trzebicka3, Justinas Palisaitis5, Gao Jing1,2, Per O. . Persson5, Zhongfan Liu1,2,6, Alicja Bachmatiuk1,2,3,4 (*), and Mark H. Rümmeli1,2,3,4 (*)

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1 Soochow Institute for Energy and Materials Innovations, College of Physics, Optoelectronics and Energy & Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China
2 Key Laboratory of Advanced Carbon Materials and Wearable Energy Technologies of Jiangsu Province, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China
3 Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials, Polish Academy of Sciences, M. Curie-Sklodowskiej 34, Zabrze 41-819, Poland
4 IFW Dresden, Helmholtz Strasse 20, 01069, Dresden, Germany
5 Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM), Linkping University, SE-581 83 Linkping, Sweden
6 Center for Nanochemistry, Beijing Science and Engineering Centre for Nanocarbons, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
§ Huy Q. Ta and Liang Zhao contributed equally to this work.

Keywords: in situ transmission electron microscope (TEM), electron driven catalysis, Cr, single atom, graphene synthesis
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ABSTRACT Single atoms are the ultimate minimum size limit for catalysts. Graphene, as an exciting, ultimately thin (one atom thick) material can be imaged in a transmission electron microscope with relatively few imaging artefacts. Here, we directly observe the behavior of single Cr atoms in graphene mono- and di-vacancies and, more importantly, at graphene edges. Similar studies at graphene edges with other elemental atoms, with the exception of Fe, show catalytic etching of graphene. Fe atoms have been shown to both etch and grow graphene. In contrast, Cr atoms are only observed to induce graphene growth. Complementary theoretical calculations illuminate the differences between Fe and Cr, and confirm single Cr atoms as superior catalysts for sp2 carbon growth.
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Single Cr atom catalytic growth of graphene. Nano Res. 2018, 11(5): 2405–2411

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