The effect of copper pre-cleaning on graphene synthesis
- The effect of copper pre-cleaning on graphene synthesis
- 김수민; Allen Hsu; Yi-Hsien Lee; Mildred Dresselhaus; Tom´as Palacios; 김기강; Jing Kong
- graphene; synthesis; copper; pre-cleaning; Ni etchant
- Issue Date
- VOL 24, NO 36, 365602-1-365602-7
- 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.
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