Nano Research

, Volume 5, Issue 8, pp 543–549 | Cite as

Sequential assembly of metal-free phthalocyanine on few-layer epitaxial graphene mediated by thickness-dependent surface potential

  • Yabo Gao
  • Yanfeng ZhangEmail author
  • Jun Ren
  • Denghua Li
  • Teng Gao
  • Ruiqi Zhao
  • Yanlian Yang
  • Sheng Meng
  • Chen Wang
  • Zhongfan LiuEmail author
Research Article


Due to strong interactions between epitaxial graphene and SiC(0001) substrates, the overlayer charge density induced by the interface charging effect is much more attenuated than that of exfoliated graphene on SiO2. We report herein a quantitive detection of the charge properties of few-layer graphene by surface potential measurements using electrostatic force microscopy (EFM). A minor difference in surface potential is observed to mediate a sequential assembly of metal-free phthalocyanine (H2Pc) on monolayer, bilayer and trilayer graphenes, as demonstrated by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). In order to understand this, we further executed density functional theory (DFT) calculations which showed higher adsorption energies for Pc on thinner graphenes. In this case, we attribute the unique growth behavior of Pc to its variable adsorption energies on few-layer graphene, and in turn the layer charge variations from the viewpoint of energy minimizations. This work is expected to provide fundamental data useful for related nanodevice fabrications.


Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) epitaxial graphene phthalocyanine self-assembly electrostatic force microscopy (EFM) 


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yabo Gao
    • 1
  • Yanfeng Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jun Ren
    • 2
  • Denghua Li
    • 3
  • Teng Gao
    • 1
  • Ruiqi Zhao
    • 1
  • Yanlian Yang
    • 3
  • Sheng Meng
    • 2
  • Chen Wang
    • 3
  • Zhongfan Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Center for Nanochemistry (CNC), Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, State Key Laboratory for Structural Chemistry of Unstable and Stable Species, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary StudiesPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Institute of PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.National Center for Nanoscience and TechnologyBeijingChina

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