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Nat Mater. 2011 Jun;10(6):443-9. doi: 10.1038/nmat3010. Epub 2011 May 8.

Control and characterization of individual grains and grain boundaries in graphene grown by chemical vapour deposition.

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Center for Advanced Materials and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, Texas 77204, USA.


The strong interest in graphene has motivated the scalable production of high-quality graphene and graphene devices. As the large-scale graphene films synthesized so far are typically polycrystalline, it is important to characterize and control grain boundaries, generally believed to degrade graphene quality. Here we study single-crystal graphene grains synthesized by ambient chemical vapour deposition on polycrystalline Cu, and show how individual boundaries between coalescing grains affect graphene's electronic properties. The graphene grains show no definite epitaxial relationship with the Cu substrate, and can cross Cu grain boundaries. The edges of these grains are found to be predominantly parallel to zigzag directions. We show that grain boundaries give a significant Raman 'D' peak, impede electrical transport, and induce prominent weak localization indicative of intervalley scattering in graphene. Finally, we demonstrate an approach using pre-patterned growth seeds to control graphene nucleation, opening a route towards scalable fabrication of single-crystal graphene devices without grain boundaries.

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