Feb 13, 2013
Surface steps tailor graphene growth at low pressure
Researchers from AIST in Japan are using the step-driven anisotropic growth of graphene on copper to form graphene ribbon arrays by chemical vapour deposition (CVD). Their findings on nucleation and growth mechanisms might open up a novel route to synthesizing spatially and geometrically controlled graphene-based nanostructures.
The bottom-up fabrication of graphene in a self-organized manner could be a key technique for tailoring graphene geometries on demand. While uniform monolayer graphene can be obtained on a copper catalyst surface by CVD, the growth had been thought to be relatively insensitive to the morphology of the copper surface.
Now, the scientists from AIST’s Green Nanoelectronics Center, who have been investigating graphene growth on various catalyst surfaces at low pressure, have observed the self-organized formation of graphene ribbons on a copper film surface.
Each ribbon was found to form at bunched steps. This interesting phenomenon could be explained by anisotropic graphene growth accompanied by step bunching due to the suppression of step-flow-like copper evaporation underneath the graphene island.
Additional information can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.
About the author
The study was conducted in the Green Nanoelectronics Center (GNC) at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) under the support of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) through the "Funding Program for World-Leading Innovative R&D on Science and Technology (FIRST program)". Kenjiro Hayashi, PhD, is a researcher in the GNC’s nanocarbon group and is focusing on the development of novel electronics devices based on nanocarbon materials such as graphene and carbon nanotubes. He currently works on the growth, characterization and application of graphene. Shintaro Sato, PhD, is the leader of the nanocarbon group. Naoki Yokoyama, PhD, is the leader of GNC and the core researcher of the FIRST programme.