Perpendicular growth of carbon chains on graphene from first-principles
Based on first-principles calculations we predict a peculiar growth process, where carbon adatoms adsorbed to graphene readily diffuse above room temperature and nucleate segments of linear carbon chains attached to graphene. These chains grow longer on graphene through insertion of carbon atoms one at a time from the bottom end and display a self-assembling behavior. Eventually, two allotropes of carbon, namely graphene and cumulene, are combined to exhibit important functionalities. The segments of carbon chains on graphene become chemically active sites to bind foreign atoms or large molecules. When bound to the ends of carbon chains, transition metal atoms, Ti, Co, and Au, attribute a magnetic ground state to graphene sheets and mediate stable contacts with interconnects. We showed that carbon chains can grow also on single-wall carbon nanotubes. © 2011 American Physical Society.