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Melinte, G.; Florea, I.; Moldovan, S.; Janowska, I.; Baaziz, W.; Arenal, R.; Wisnet, A.; Scheu, C.; Begin-Colin, S.; Begin, D.; Pham-Huu, C.; Ersen, O. (2014): A 3D insight on the catalytic nanostructuration of few-layer graphene. In: Nature Communications, Vol. 5, 4109


The catalytic cutting of few-layer graphene is nowadays a hot topic in materials research due to its potential applications in the catalysis field and the graphene nanoribbons fabrication. We show here a 3D analysis of the nanostructuration of few-layer graphene by iron-based nanoparticles under hydrogen flow. The nanoparticles located at the edges or attached to the steps on the FLG sheets create trenches and tunnels with orientations, lengths and morphologies defined by the crystallography and the topography of the carbon substrate. The cross-sectional analysis of the 3D volumes highlights the role of the active nanoparticle identity on the trench size and shape, with emphasis on the topographical stability of the basal planes within the resulting trenches and channels, no matter the obstacle encountered. The actual study gives a deep insight on the impact of nanoparticles morphology and support topography on the 3D character of nanostructures built up by catalytic cutting.