Date: 04 Mar 2010

Carbon phases on nickel surfaces

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The conditions of the formation of different carbon surface phases on nickel substrates by the example of a planar Ni( 110) surface and a stepped Ni(771 ) surface similar in structure were determined. The structure of the phases was investigated by means of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), and the influence of carbon on the structure of the nickel surface was demonstrated. The process of graphene synthesis by propylene cracking is described. A method for forming graphene islands on nickel is proposed. A variety of phase transitions between the carbon surface phases (e.g., surface carbide, graphene, and graphene islands) and the reasons for their irreversibility are discussed. The relation between the structures of the surface carbide phases and the crystal structures of the initial surfaces for two different substrates is shown.