Catalyst-free growth of nanographene films on various substrates
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- Zhang, L., Shi, Z., Wang, Y. et al. Nano Res. (2011) 4: 315. doi:10.1007/s12274-010-0086-5
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We have developed a new method to grow uniform graphene films directly on various substrates, such as insulators, semiconductors, and even metals, without using any catalyst. The growth was carried out using a remote plasma enhancement chemical vapor deposition (r-PECVD) system at relatively low temperatures, enabling the deposition of graphene films up to 4-inch wafer scale. Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) confirmed that the films are made up of nanocrystalline graphene particles of tens of nanometers in lateral size. The growth mechanism for the nanographene is analogous to that for diamond grown by PECVD methods, in spite of sp2 carbon atoms being formed in the case of graphene rather than sp3 carbon atoms as in diamond. This growth approach is simple, low-cost, and scalable, and might have potential applications in fields such as thin film resistors, gas sensors, electrode materials, and transparent conductive films.