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Open AccessArticle

The Growth of Graphene on Ni–Cu Alloy Thin Films at a Low Temperature and Its Carbon Diffusion Mechanism

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Key Laboratory of Optoelectronics Technology, College of Microelectronics, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100124, China
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Department of Industrial and Materials Science, Chalmers University of Technology, 41296 Gothenburg, Sweden
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Materials Science and Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Brinellvägen 23, 10044 Stockholm, Sweden
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Thermo-Calc Software AB, Råsundavägen 18, 16967 Solna, Sweden
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State Key Laboratory of Integrated Optoelectronics, Institute of Semiconductor, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100083, China
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Quantum Device Physics Laboratory, Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Chalmers University of Technology, 41296 Gothenburg, Sweden
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(11), 1633; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9111633
Received: 23 October 2019 / Revised: 12 November 2019 / Accepted: 13 November 2019 / Published: 17 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Nanocomposite Thin Films and 2D Materials)
Carbon solid solubility in metals is an important factor affecting uniform graphene growth by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) at high temperatures. At low temperatures, however, it was found that the carbon diffusion rate (CDR) on the metal catalyst surface has a greater impact on the number and uniformity of graphene layers compared with that of the carbon solid solubility. The CDR decreases rapidly with decreasing temperatures, resulting in inhomogeneous and multilayer graphene. In the present work, a Ni–Cu alloy sacrificial layer was used as the catalyst based on the following properties. Cu was selected to increase the CDR, while Ni was used to provide high catalytic activity. By plasma-enhanced CVD, graphene was grown on the surface of Ni–Cu alloy under low pressure using methane as the carbon source. The optimal composition of the Ni–Cu alloy, 1:2, was selected through experiments. In addition, the plasma power was optimized to improve the graphene quality. On the basis of the parameter optimization, together with our previously-reported, in-situ, sacrificial metal-layer etching technique, relatively homogeneous wafer-size patterned graphene was obtained directly on a 2-inch SiO2/Si substrate at a low temperature (~600 °C). View Full-Text
Keywords: transfer-free; lithography-free; graphene; chemical vapor deposition; insulating substrate; low temperature growth transfer-free; lithography-free; graphene; chemical vapor deposition; insulating substrate; low temperature growth
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dong, Y.; Guo, S.; Mao, H.; Xu, C.; Xie, Y.; Cheng, C.; Mao, X.; Deng, J.; Pan, G.; Sun, J. The Growth of Graphene on Ni–Cu Alloy Thin Films at a Low Temperature and Its Carbon Diffusion Mechanism. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 1633.

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