Discrete Dynamics of Nanoparticle Channelling in Suspended Graphene

We have observed a previously undescribed stepwise oxidation of mono- and few layer suspended graphene by silver nanoparticles in situ at subnanometer scale in an environmental transmission electron microscope. Over the range of 600–850 K, we observe crystallographically oriented channelling with rates in the range 0.01–1 nm/s and calculate an activation energy of 0.557 ± 0.016 eV. We present a discrete statistical model for this process and discuss the implications for accurate nanoscale patterning of nanoscale systems.