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Graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) have promising applications in future nanoelectronics, chemical sensing and electrical interconnects. Although there are quite a few GNR nanofabrication methods reported, a rapid and low-cost fabrication method that is capable of fabricating arbitrary shapes of GNRs with good-quality is still in demand for using GNRs for device applications. In this paper, we present a tip-based nanofabrication method capable of fabricating arbitrary shapes of GNRs. A heated atomic force microscope (AFM) tip deposits polymer nanowires atop a CVD-grown graphene surface. The polymer nanowires serve as an etch mask to define GNRs through one step of oxygen plasma etching similar to photoresist in conventional photolithography. Various shapes of GNRs with either linear or curvilinear features are demonstrated. The width of the GNR is around 270 nm and is determined by the width of depositing polymer nanowire, which we estimate can be scaled down 15 nms. We characterize our TBN-fabricated GNRs using Raman spectroscopy and I-V measurements. The measured sheet resistances of our GNRs fall within the range of 1.65 kΩ - 2.64 kΩ-1 in agreement with previously reported values. Furthermore, we determined the high-field breakdown current density of GNRs to be approximately 2.94x108 A/cm2. This TBN process is seamlessly compatible with existing nanofabrication processes, and is particularly suitable for fabricating GNR based electronic devices including next generation DNA sequencing technologies and beyond silicon field effect transistors.


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This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at RSC Advances, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry: RSC Publishing. Copyright restrictions may apply. doi: 10.1039/C5RA04257G