Scientists Report Wafer Scale Growth of Graphene on Sapphire

The growth of inch-scale high-quality graphene on insulating substrates is desirable for electronic and optoelectronic applications, but remains challenging due to the lack of metal catalysis. According to article published in Nature Materials, scientists now demonstrate the wafer-scale synthesis of adlayer-free ultra-flat single-crystal monolayer graphene on sapphire substrates.

Talking to Materials Science Society of Pakistan (MSSP), one of the co-authors of the study, Abdus Samad (originally from Pakistan) , told that our work provides a method to directly synthesize ultra-high-quality graphene on insulating substrates, which not only solves most problems of Cu-based CVD-grown graphene, but also avoids the secondary contamination and damage caused by transferring processes. The as-grown graphene can be used on most high-performance nanodevices instead of physically exfoliated graphene flakes. Due to the influence of graphene grain boundaries and wrinkles, the application of graphene in the CPU chip industry could not yet be achieved. However, owing to the single-crystal, adlayer-free, and wrinkle-free properties, the direct-grown graphene is expected to be used on the graphene-based CPU chip industry and fulfill the application in the next-generation carbon-based semiconductors.

Moreover, the realization of large-area single-crystal graphene films also provides an ideal growth substrate for epitaxial growing other wafer-scale 2D materials and heterostructures, accelerating the coming of the era of wafer-scale single-crystal 2D materials.

Fig. 1
a, Energy diagram of Cu(110), Cu(100) and Cu(111) crystals on an Al2O3(0001) surface. b, Schematic of the transformation process from a commercial polycrystalline Cu foil into a single-crystal Cu(111) film on Al2O3(0001). c, Photographs of Cu foil (10 × 10 mm2) annealed for various different times (5–25 h). The largest Cu grain of each sample is indicated by the dashed contour. Corresponding Cu grain size distributions obtained by measuring ten samples for each of the annealing times are also shown. Scale bars, 2 mm. d, Optical micrograph of the 5-cm (2-inch) single-crystal Cu(111) film. The sample area is divided into nine parts for further characterization. Scale bar, 10 mm. e, Electron backscatter diffraction inverse pole figure maps of the nine areas in d. Scale bars, 20 μm. f, XRD patterns of the regions marked in d. A distinct peak-split of the Cu(111) Kα-1 and Kα-2 peaks is observed in the enlarged image (right) due to the ultra-high crystallinity of the Cu(111) film. a.u., arbitrary units. g, Cross-sectional HR–TEM image of the Cu(111)–Al2O3(0001) interface. The width of interface between Cu(111) and Al2O3(0001) was determined from the intensity profiles along the magenta and blue lines. Scale bar, 2 nm. From Nature Materials.


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