Interview Date: January 2009
Oded Hod, Gustavo Scuseria, & Veronica
From the Special Topic of
According to our Special Topics analysis on Graphene, a
key paper in the Research Front Map on
Nanoribbons is "Electronic structure and stability of
semiconducting graphene nanoribbons," (Nano Lett.
6: 2748-54, 13 December 2006). In
Science IndicatorsSM from
Reuters, this paper garnered 70 citations up to October
31, 2008. In the
Web of Science®, this paper
currently has 80 citations.
The paper's authors are Prof. Gustavo Scuseria, who is the Robert A.
Welch Professor of Chemistry at Rice University; Dr. Veronica Barone, who
is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at Central
Michigan University; and Dr. Oded Hod, who is a Senior Lecturer in the
School of Chemistry at Tel-Aviv University.
In the interview
below, ScienceWatch.com talks with Dr. Hod about
the work he and his colleagues did on this
Would you please describe the significance of
your paper and why it is highly cited?
Our paper presents the first calculation, based on screened-hybrid density
functional theory, of the electronic and structural properties of
semi-conducting graphene nanoribbons. Our findings reveal important
differences between previous calculations, based on lower-level theories,
and our more accurate results obtained using first-principles methods. We
stress the importance of controlling the width of narrow graphene
nanoribbons aiming to tailor their electronic properties, and we
demonstrate, for the first time, that the nature of the edges can be
elucidated by studying their optical signature.
Our predictions were verified experimentally by several research groups,
indicating the impressive accuracy of the state-of-the-art screened-hybrid
density functional known as HSE, which was developed in the Scuseria group.
How did you become involved in this research, and
were there any particular successes or obstacles that stand
I was involved in the research by my post-doc host, Prof. Gustavo E.
Scuseria, who has considerable experience in both developing electronic
structure methods and applying them to a variety of systems including
carbon-based materials. Prof. Scuseria understood the importance of the
field while reading recent literature and noticed the potential of using
the methods developed in our group for studying the physical properties of
graphene nanoribbons. My fruitful collaboration with Dr. Veronica Barone
led to the success of this project and, as stated above, one of the main
achievements was that our theoretical predictions were verified
experimentally shortly after their publication.
Where do you see your research and the broader
field leading in the future?
Recently, I moved from Rice University in Houston, Texas, where I concluded
my post-doc term, to Tel-Aviv University in Israel, where I have accepted a
position as a faculty member at the School of Chemistry. In the field of
graphene nanoribbons I continue my research on the electronic, magnetic,
and electro-mechanical properties of these fascinating systems.
Furthermore, I study the chemical adsorption of contaminants on graphene
nanoribbons in order to estimate the feasibility of their use as
ultra-sensitive and highly reliable chemical sensors. I believe that in the
near future we will find a growing number of proof-of-concept studies
showing the ability to use this versatile material in electronic,
spintronic, and nano-mechanical devices.
What are the implications of your work for this
Since the tools that we have are extremely suitable for the treatment of
graphene-based materials, our prediction power enables us to design,
support, and direct experimental efforts in the field. I am currently in
the process of forming several cooperations with experimental groups in
this field, aiming at combining our computational power with their
Prof. Gustavo E. Scuseria
Department of Chemistry
Houston, TX, USA
Dr. Veronica Barone
Department of Physics
Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, MI, USA
Dr. Oded Hod
School of Chemistry
Keywords: semiconducting graphene nanoribbons, structure,
stability, screened-hybrid density functional theory, electronic
properties, optical signature, chemical adsorption.