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March 10, 2010

Graphene Takes a Big Step Towards Industrial Mass Production

Aristov and colleagues report that they have developed "a very simple procedure for making graphene on the cheap." They describe growing high-quality graphene on the surface of commercially available silicon carbide wafers to produce material with excellent electronic properties. It "represents a huge step toward technological application of this material as the synthesis is compatible with industrial mass production." Graphene has the potential to replace silicon in high-speed computer processors and other devices. Terahertz devices could be produced by Graphene.

NanoLetters - Graphene Synthesis on Cubic SiC/Si Wafers. Perspectives for Mass Production of Graphene-Based Electronic Devices

The outstanding properties of graphene, a single graphite layer, render it a top candidate for substituting silicon in future electronic devices. The so far exploited synthesis approaches, however, require conditions typically achieved in specialized laboratories and result in graphene sheets whose electronic properties are often altered by interactions with substrate materials. The development of graphene-based technologies requires an economical fabrication method compatible with mass production. Here we demonstrate for the fist time the feasibility of graphene synthesis on commercially available cubic SiC/Si substrates of >300 mm in diameter, which result in graphene flakes electronically decoupled from the substrate. After optimization of the preparation procedure, the proposed synthesis method can represent a further big step toward graphene-based electronic technologies



We demonstrated for the first time the feasibility of graphene synthesis on cubic β-SiC. A very simple procedure for obtaining graphene on the cheap, commercially available β-SiC/Si wafers of large diameters represents a huge step toward technological application of this material as the synthesis is compatible with industrial mass production. The quality of graphene overlayers was characterized by a number of experimental techniques, indicating very weak interaction with the substrate, crucial for preservation of the astonishing intrinsic properties of graphene. The ability to grow large single-crystal domains is a major target of graphene growth. Despite lattice mismatching, the graphene growth is shown to be guided along the [110] crystallographic direction of the SiC(001) substrate, which might also encourage the formation of reasonable large domains of single-crystal graphene. Therefore as the next step of the investigation we plan to evaluate the size of the graphene grains grown so far on cubic β-SiC and find the approach of formation of relatively large domains, for example, by annealing in argon atmosphere of about 1 bar

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