Sequential assembly of metal-free phthalocyanine on few-layer epitaxial graphene mediated by thickness-dependent surface potential
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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.
KeywordsScanning tunneling microscopy (STM) epitaxial graphene phthalocyanine self-assembly electrostatic force microscopy (EFM)
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