Regular Article

The European Physical Journal D

, 67:50

Carbon clusters near the step of Rh surface: implication for the initial stage of graphene nucleation

  • Junfeng GaoAffiliated withKey Laboratory of Materials Modification by Laser, Ion and Electron Beams (Dalian University of Technology), Ministry of Education
  • , Jijun ZhaoAffiliated withKey Laboratory of Materials Modification by Laser, Ion and Electron Beams (Dalian University of Technology), Ministry of Education Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

To understand the initial nucleation of graphene by chemical vapor deposition along metal step, carbon clusters (N = 1 ∼ 24) near Rh (4 3 3) stepwise surface were systemically explored by first-principles calculations. Carbon chains are always more stable than carbon rings on stepped metal surface. Starting from C6, carbon chains prefer two-end passivation on the metal step. A structural transition of carbon clusters from one-dimensional sp chains to two-dimensional s p 2 networks are found at C10, which corresponds to the nucleation size at a wide range of chemical potentials. According to these theoretical results, we proposed that appropriately controlling the chemical potential may be helpful for observing the four stable carbon clusters along metal step and improving the quality of graphene.