Graphene nanostructures are potential building blocks for nanoelectronic and spintronic devices. However, the production of monolayer graphene nanostructures with well-defined zigzag edges remains a challenge. In this paper, we report the patterning of monolayer graphene nanostructures with zigzag edges on hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) substrates by an anisotropic etching technique. We found that hydrogen plasma etching of monolayer graphene on h-BN is highly anisotropic due to the inert and ultra-flat nature of the h-BN surface, resulting in zigzag edge formation. The as-fabricated zigzag-edged monolayer graphene nanoribbons (Z-GNRs) with widths below 30 nm show high carrier mobility and width-dependent energy gaps at liquid helium temperature. These high quality Z-GNRs are thus ideal structures for exploring their valleytronic or spintronic properties.

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