Growth mechanism for epitaxial graphene on vicinal 6H-SiC(0001) surfaces: A scanning tunneling microscopy study

TitleGrowth mechanism for epitaxial graphene on vicinal 6H-SiC(0001) surfaces: A scanning tunneling microscopy study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsHupalo M, Conrad EH, Tringides MC
Journal TitlePhysical Review B
Volume80
Pages041401
Date Published07/01
ISBN Number1098-0121
Accession NumberISI:000268618100020
Keywordsgraphite, layers
Abstract

The inability to grow large well-ordered ultra high vacuum (UHV) graphene with a specific number of layers on SiC(0001) is well known. The growth involves several competing processes (Si desorption, carbon diffusion, island nucleation, etc.) and because of the high temperatures, it has not been possible to identify the growth mechanism. Using scanning tunneling microscopy and a vicinal 6H-SiC(0001) sample, we determine that the Si desorption from steps is the main controlling process. Adjacent steps retract with different speeds and the released carbon produces large areas of bilayer graphene with characteristic "fingers" emanating from steps. If faster heating rates are used, the different Si desorption rates are avoided and single-layer graphene films extending over many microns are produced.

URL<Go to ISI>://000268618100020
DOI10.1103/Physrevb.80.041401