Working with Sungkyungkwan University’s School of Advanced Materials Science and Engineering, Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) has uncovered a new method of synthesising graphene without damaging its electric and mechanical properties.
In the past, researchers have found that multi-crystal synthesis – the process of synthesising small graphene particles to produce large-area graphene – deteriorated the electric and mechanical properties of the material, limiting its application range and making it difficult to commercialise.
The new method involves synthesising large-area graphene into a single crystal on a semiconductor, while maintaining its electric and mechanical properties. By developing a method for growing a single crystal graphene into a large area, the researchers claim they could displace the tech industry’s reliance on silicon.
“This is one of the most significant breakthroughs in graphene research in history,” said the laboratory leaders at SAIT’s Lab. “We expect this discovery to accelerate the commercialisation of graphene, which could unlock the next era of consumer electronic technology.”
The uniform growth of single-crystal graphene over wafer-scale areas remains a challenge in the commercial-level manufacturability of various electronic, photonic, mechanical, and other devices based on graphene. Here, we describe wafer-scale growth of wrinkle-free single-crystal monolayer graphene on silicon wafer using a hydrogen-terminated germanium buffer layer. The anisotropic twofold symmetry of the germanium (110) surface allowed unidirectional alignment of multiple seeds, which were merged to uniform single-crystal graphene with predefined orientation. Furthermore, the weak interaction between graphene and underlying hydrogen-terminated germanium surface enabled the facile etch-free dry transfer of graphene and the recycling of the germanium substrate for continual graphene growth.
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