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Research Highlight | Center for Nanoscale Materials

Synthesis and atomic scale characterization of supramolecular graphene

In a study published in Nature Chemistry, researchers imaged metal atoms at the atomic scale.

Scientific Achievement

A graphene-like giant 20 nm diameter supramolecular structure with molecular weights greater than 65 kDa was constructed via intra- and intermolecular metal-mediated self-assembly, and the metal atoms were imaged at the atomic scale.

Significance and Impact

This work represents an important breakthrough in the synthesis of 2D supramolecular architectures and the use of tunneling spectroscopy to identify individual metal atoms for confirmation of the structure.

Research Details

  • The molecules were deposited via liquid on a Ag(111) surface.
  • Imaging and tunneling spectroscopy were performed on one molecule, on a one atom at-a-time basis with low temperature scanning tunneling microscopy at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM). 

Work was performed in part at CNM.


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About Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials
The Center for Nanoscale Materials is one of the five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers, premier national user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale supported by the DOE Office of Science. Together the NSRCs comprise a suite of complementary facilities that provide researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities to fabricate, process, characterize and model nanoscale materials, and constitute the largest infrastructure investment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The NSRCs are located at DOE’s Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. For more information about the DOE NSRCs, please visit https://​sci​ence​.osti​.gov/​U​s​e​r​-​F​a​c​i​l​i​t​i​e​s​/​U​s​e​r​-​F​a​c​i​l​i​t​i​e​s​-​a​t​-​a​-​G​lance.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.