Wafer Scale Growth and Characterization of Edge Specific Graphene Nanoribbons for Nanoelectronics

One of the ways to use graphene in field effect transistors is to introduce a band gap by quantum confinement effect. That is why narrow graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) with width less than 50 nm are considered to be essential components in future graphene electronics. The growth of graphene on sidewalls of SiC(0001) mesa structures using scalable photolithography was shown to produce high quality GNRs with excellent transport properties. Such epitaxial graphene nanoribbons are very important in fundamental science but if GNRs are supposed to be used in advanced nanoelectronics, high quality thin (<50 nm) nanoribbons should be produced on a large (wafer) scale. Here we present a technique for scalable template growth of high quality GNRs on Si-face of SiC(0001) and provide detailed structural information along with transport properties. For the first time we succeeded now to avoid SiC-facet instabilities in order to grow high quality GNRs along both [11̅00] and [112̅0] crystallographic directions on the same substrate. The quality of the grown nanoribbons was confirmed by comprehensive characterization with atomic resolution STM, dark field LEEM, and transport measurements. This approach generates an entirely new platform for both fundamental and application driven research of quasi one-dimensional carbon based magnetism and spintronics.