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Epitaxial Al2O3(0001)/Cu(111) Template Development for CVD Graphene Growth

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journal contribution
posted on 14.01.2016, 00:00 by Ken Verguts, Bart Vermeulen, Nandi Vrancken, Koen Schouteden, Chris Van Haesendonck, Cedric Huyghebaert, Marc Heyns, Stefan De Gendt, Steven Brems
Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is widely considered to be the most economically viable method to produce graphene for high-end applications. However, this deposition technique typically yields undesired grain boundaries in the graphene crystals, which drastically increases the sheet resistance of the layer. These grain boundaries are mostly caused by the polycrystalline nature of the catalytic template that is commonly used. Therefore, to prevent the presence of grain boundaries in graphene crystals, it is crucial to develop a large scale, single-crystalline template. In this paper, we demonstrate the deposition of a single-crystalline Cu(111) film on top of a 2″ sapphire wafer. The crystalline quality of the Cu(111) templates is optimized by controlled modification of the sapphire surface termination and by tuning the Cu deposition conditions. Moreover, we find that the Cu layer transforms into an untwinned single-crystalline Cu(111) structure after annealing at typical graphene growth temperatures. This allows for the growth of high-quality graphene by the CVD technique. The findings presented in this paper are an important step forward in the production of wafer scale, single-crystalline graphene.