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Keywords:

  • epitaxial graphene;
  • CO2 laser heating;
  • Raman spectroscopy;
  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy;
  • secondary ion-mass spectroscopy

Abstract

The thermal decomposition of SiC surface provides, perhaps, the most promising method for the epitaxial growth of graphene on a material useful in the electronics platform. Currently, efforts are focused on a reliable method for the growth of large-area, low-strain epitaxial graphene that is still lacking. Here, a novel method for the fast, single-step epitaxial growth of large-area homogeneous graphene film on the surface of SiC(0001) using an infrared CO2 laser (10.6 μm) as the heating source is reported. Apart from enabling extreme heating and cooling rates, which can control the stacking order of epitaxial graphene, this method is cost-effective in that it does not necessitate SiC pre-treatment and/or high vacuum, it operates at low temperature and proceeds in the second time scale, thus providing a green solution to EG fabrication and a means to engineering graphene patterns on SiC by focused laser beams. Uniform, low–strain graphene film is demonstrated by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, secondary ion-mass spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. Scalability to industrial level of the method described here appears to be realistic, in view of the high rate of CO2-laser-induced graphene growth and the lack of strict sample–environment conditions.