Materials Science

Nanoparticles Make the Cut

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Science  24 Jun 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6037, pp. 1483
DOI: 10.1126/science.332.6037.1483-b

It has long been known from ex situ studies that metal nanoparticles can catalyze reaction of oxygen with graphite surfaces and create grooves or channels. Such reactions could be used for patterning graphene sheets. Booth et al. have studied the dynamics of silver nanoparticles on suspended monolayer and bilayer graphene sheets in a transmission electron microscope. They imaged these samples at temperatures from 600 to 850 K and partial pressures of oxygen over the sample from about 30 to 100 millitorr. The nanoparticles cut channels along <100> crystallographic directions, but some fluctuations of motion normal to the channel direction were also observed. The nanoparticles did not move at a constant speed. Instead, their velocity profile was erratic, and the start-stop motion was better described by a Poisson distribution.

Nano Lett. 11, 10.1021/nl200928k (2011).

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