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Nano Research

Article Title

In situ atomic-scale observation of monolayer graphene growth from SiC

Authors

Kaihao Yu, SEU-FEI Nano-Pico Center, Key Laboratory of MEMS of Ministry of Education, School of Electronic Science and Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
Wen Zhao, Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials, Institute for Basic Science, Ulsan 689-798, Republic of Korea Institute of Textiles and Clothing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong 999077, China
Xing Wu, SEU-FEI Nano-Pico Center, Key Laboratory of MEMS of Ministry of Education, School of Electronic Science and Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China Shanghai Key Laboratory of Multidimensional Information Processing, Department of Electrical Engineering, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
Jianing Zhuang, Institute of Textiles and Clothing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong 999077, China
Xiaohui Hu, SEU-FEI Nano-Pico Center, Key Laboratory of MEMS of Ministry of Education, School of Electronic Science and Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China College of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing 210009, China
Qiubo Zhang, SEU-FEI Nano-Pico Center, Key Laboratory of MEMS of Ministry of Education, School of Electronic Science and Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
Jun Sun, SEU-FEI Nano-Pico Center, Key Laboratory of MEMS of Ministry of Education, School of Electronic Science and Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
Tao Xu, SEU-FEI Nano-Pico Center, Key Laboratory of MEMS of Ministry of Education, School of Electronic Science and Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
Yang Chai, Department of Applied Physics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
Feng Ding, Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials, Institute for Basic Science, Ulsan 689-798, Republic of Korea School of Materials Science and Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan 689-798, Republic of Korea Institute of Textiles and Clothing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong 999077, China
Litao Sun, SEU-FEI Nano-Pico Center, Key Laboratory of MEMS of Ministry of Education, School of Electronic Science and Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China Center for Advanced Carbon Materials, Southeast University and Jiangnan Graphene Research Institute, Changzhou 213100, China Center for Advanced Materials and Manufacture, Joint Research Institute of Southeast University and Monash University, Suzhou 215123, China

Keywords

graphene, epitaxial growth, in situ, transmission electron microscopy

Abstract

ABSTRACT Because of its high compatibility with conventional microfabrication processing technology, epitaxial graphene (EG) grown on SiC shows exceptional promise for graphene-based electronics. However, to date, a detailed understanding of the transformation from three-layer SiC to monolayer graphene is still lacking. Here, we demonstrate the direct atomic-scale observation of EG growth on a SiC (11 ¯00) surface at 1,000 °C by in situ transmission electron microscopy in combination with ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) simulations. Our detailed analysis of the growth dynamics of monolayer graphene reveals that three SiC (11 ¯00) layers decompose successively to form one graphene layer. Sublimation of the first layer causes the formation of carbon clusters containing short chains and hexagonal rings, which can be considered as the nuclei for graphene growth. Decomposition of the second layer results in the appearance of new chains connecting to the as-formed clusters and the formation of a network with large pores. Finally, the carbon atoms released from the third layer lead to the disappearance of the chains and large pores in the network, resulting in a whole graphene layer. Our study presents a clear picture of the epitaxial growth of the monolayer graphene from SiC and provides valuable information for future developments in SiC-derived EG technology.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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