Nano Research

Article Title

Single step fabrication of N-doped graphene/Si3N4/SiC heterostructures


epitaxial graphene, spectroscopy, nitrogen-doped graphene, low-energy electron microscopy, electronic properties


In-plane heteroatom substitution of graphene is a promising strategy to modify its properties. The ability to dope graphene with electron-donor nitrogen heteroatoms is highly important for modulating electrical properties of graphene. Here we demonstrate a transfer-free method to directly grow large area quasi free-standing N-doped graphene bilayers on an insulating substrate (Si3N4). Electron-bombardment heating under nitrogen flux results in simultaneous growth of N-doped graphene and a Si3N4 layer on the SiC surface. The decoupling of N-doped graphene from the substrate and the presence of Si3N4 are identified by X-ray photoemission spectroscopy and low-energy electron diffraction. The substitution of nitrogen atoms in the graphene planes was confirmed using high resolution X-ray photoemission spectroscopy which reveals several atomic configurations for the nitrogen atoms: Graphitic-like, pyridine-like, and pyrroliclike. Furthermore, we demonstrated for the first time that N-doped graphene could be used to efficiently probe oxygen molecules via nitrogen atom defects.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press