The effect of copper pre-cleaning on graphene synthesis

Title
The effect of copper pre-cleaning on graphene synthesis
Authors
김수민Allen HsuYi-Hsien LeeMildred DresselhausTom´as Palacios김기강Jing Kong
Keywords
graphene; synthesis; copper; pre-cleaning; Ni etchant
Issue Date
2013-09
Publisher
Nanotechnology
Citation
VOL 24, NO 36, 365602-1-365602-7
Abstract
Copper foil is the most common substrate to synthesize monolayer graphene by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The surface morphology and conditions of the copper foil can be very different depending on the various suppliers or different batches. These surface properties of copper strongly affect the growth behavior of graphene, thus rendering the growth conditions irreproducible when different batches of Cu foil are used. Furthermore, the quality of the graphene is severely affected as well. In this work, we report a facile method of copper pre-cleaning to improve the graphene quality and the reproducibility of the growth process. We found that the commercial Ni etchant (based on nitric acid) or nitric acid is the most effective cleaning agent among various acidic or basic solutions. The graphene grown on thus-treated copper surfaces is very clean and mostly monolayer when observed under scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and optical imaging, as compared to the graphene grown on untreated copper foil. Different batches (but with the same catalog number) of copper foil from Alfa Aesar Company were examined to explore the effect of copper pre-cleaning; consistent growth results were obtained when pre-cleaning was used. This method overcomes a commonly encountered problem in graphene growth and could become one of the standard protocols for preparing the copper foil substrate for growing graphene or other 2D materials.
URI
http://pubs.kist.re.kr/handle/201004/46022
ISSN
09574484
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KIST Publication > Article
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