In this article, the role of kinetics, in particular, the pressure of the reaction chamber in the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) synthesis of graphene using low carbon solid solubility catalysts (Cu), on both the large area thickness uniformity and the defect density are presented. Although the thermodynamics of the synthesis system remains the same, based on whether the process is performed at atmospheric pressure (AP), low pressure (LP) (0.1−1 Torr) or under ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) conditions, the kinetics of the growth phenomenon are different, leading to a variation in the uniformity of the resulting graphene growth over large areas (wafer scale). The kinetic models for APCVD and LPCVD are discussed, thereby providing insight for understanding the differences between APCVD vs LPCVD/UHVCVD graphene syntheses. Interestingly, graphene syntheses using a Cu catalyst in APCVD processes at higher methane concentrations revealed that the growth is not self-limiting, which is in contrast to previous observations for the LPCVD case. Additionally, nanoribbons and nanostrips with widths ranging from 20 to 100 nm were also observed on the APCVD grown graphene. Interactions between graphene nanofeatures (edges, folds) and the contaminant metal nanoparticles from the Cu etchant were observed, suggesting that these samples could potentially be employed to investigate the chemical reactivity of single molecules, DNA, and nanoparticles with monolayer graphene.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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