Drilling Nanopores in Graphene with Clusters: A Molecular Dynamics Study

SJ Zhao and JM Xue and L Liang and YG Wang and S Yan, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 116, 11776-11782 (2012).

DOI: 10.1021/jp3023293

Using molecular dynamics simulation with empirical potentials, we show that energetic cluster ion beam is a powerful tool to drill nanopores in graphene, which have been proved to possess the potential applications in nanopore-based single-molecule detection and analysis such as DNA sequencing. Two types of clusters are considered, and different cluster size and incident energies are used to simulate the impact events. Our results demonstrate that by choosing suitable cluster species and controlling its energy, a nanopore with expected size and quality could be created in a graphene sheet. Furthermore, suspended carbon chains could be formed at the edge of the nanopore via adjusting the ion energy, which provided a feasible way to decorate the nanopore with chemical methods such as adsorption of large molecules or foreign atoms for biosensing applications.

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