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Nat Mater. 2016 Jan;15(1):43-7. doi: 10.1038/nmat4477. Epub 2015 Nov 23.

Fast growth of inch-sized single-crystalline graphene from a controlled single nucleus on Cu-Ni alloys.

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State Key Laboratory of Functional Materials for Informatics, Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 865 Changning Road, Shanghai 200050, China.
Department of Physics, East China Normal University, 500 Dongchuan Road, Minhang, Shanghai 200241, China.
Ingram School of Engineering, and MSEC, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas 78666, USA.
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.
Institute of Textiles and Clothing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.
School of Physical Science and Technology, ShanghaiTech University, 319 Yueyang Road, Shanghai 200031, China.


Wafer-scale single-crystalline graphene monolayers are highly sought after as an ideal platform for electronic and other applications. At present, state-of-the-art growth methods based on chemical vapour deposition allow the synthesis of one-centimetre-sized single-crystalline graphene domains in ∼12 h, by suppressing nucleation events on the growth substrate. Here we demonstrate an efficient strategy for achieving large-area single-crystalline graphene by letting a single nucleus evolve into a monolayer at a fast rate. By locally feeding carbon precursors to a desired position of a substrate composed of an optimized Cu-Ni alloy, we synthesized an ∼1.5-inch-large graphene monolayer in 2.5 h. Localized feeding induces the formation of a single nucleus on the entire substrate, and the optimized alloy activates an isothermal segregation mechanism that greatly expedites the growth rate. This approach may also prove effective for the synthesis of wafer-scale single-crystalline monolayers of other two-dimensional materials.

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