To grow high-quality graphene using chemical vapor deposition (CVD), the substrate needs to be sufficiently smooth and defect-free. The polishing or annealing required for this is time- and energy-consuming, and the growth rate needs to be slow to produce large-area graphene flakes.
Nicole Grobert, University of Oxford, UK, and colleagues have developed a process that allows the fast synthesis of millimeter-sized single-crystal graphene. The team uses a liquid platinum silicide layer on a polycrystalline platinum substrate. The liquid fills defects in the platinum and ensures a smooth surface for the graphene to grow on. The platinum silicide is generated in situ. First, a SiO2 film is deposited on the Pt surface and then heated to give the desired liquid. The resulting substrate allows graphene flakes to grow in minutes using chemical vapor deposition.
The researchers consider it possible to upscale the process for producing even lager sheets of graphene. Additionally, they hope that this development leads to a whole new class of substrates for the growth of high-quality 2D materials.
- Rapid epitaxy-free graphene synthesis on silicidated polycrystalline platinum,
Vitaliy Babenko, Adrian T. Murdock, Antal A. Koós, Jude Britton, Alison Crossley, Philip Holdway, Jonathan Moffat, Jian Huang, Jack A. Alexander-Webber, Robin J. Nicholas, Nicole Grobert,
Nature Commun. 2015, 6, 7536.