Intercalation of Iron Atoms under Graphene Formed on Silicon Carbide
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The intercalation of iron under a graphene monolayer grown on 4H-SiC(0001) is studied. The experiments have been carried out in situ under conditions of ultrahigh vacuum by low-energy electron diffraction, high-energy-resolution photoelectron spectroscopy using synchrotron radiation, and near carbon K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy. The deposited iron film thicknesses have been varied within 0.1–2 nm and the sample temperatures from room temperature to 700°C. It is shown that the intercalation process begins at temperatures higher than ~350°C. In this case, it is found that intercalated iron atoms are localized not only between graphene and a buffer layer coating SiC, but also under the buffer layer itself. The optimal conditions of the intercalation are realized in the range 400–500°C, because, at higher temperatures, the system becomes unstable due to the chemical interaction of the intercalated iron with silicon carbide. The inertness of the intercalated films to action of oxygen is demonstrated.
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