MRS Bulletin

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Epitaxial Graphenes on Silicon Carbide

Phillip N. First, Walt A. de Heer, Thomas Seyller, Claire Berger, Joseph A. Stroscio and Jeong-Sun Moon

Abstract

This article reviews the materials science of graphene grown epitaxially on the hexagonal basal planes of SiC crystals and progress toward the deterministic manufacture of graphene devices. We show that the growth of epitaxial graphene on Si-terminated SiC(0001) differs from growth on the C-terminated SiC(0001) surface, resulting in, respectively, strong and weak coupling to the substrate and to successive graphene layers. Monolayer epitaxial graphene on either surface displays the expected electronic structure and transport characteristics of graphene, but the non-graphitic stacking of multilayer graphene on SiC(0001) determines an electronic structure much different from that of graphitic multilayers on SiC(0001). This materials system is rich in subtleties, and graphene grown on the two polar faces of SiC differs in important ways, but all of the salient features of ideal graphene are found in these epitaxial graphenes, and wafer-scale fabrication of multi-GHz devices already has been achieved.

Phillip N. First can be contacted at the School of Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0430, USA; and e-mail first@gatech.edu.

First is a professor of physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned a BS degree in physics from the University of Wisconsin and a PhD degree from the University of Illinois in 1988. His research has been in the physics of surfaces, interfaces, and nanostructures, including the recent development of epitaxial graphene as an electronic material. First also was instrumental in establishing the Magnetic Interfaces and Nanostructures Division of the American Vacuum Society, serving as its founding chair.

Walt A. de Heer can be contacted at the School of Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0430, USA; and e-mail walt.deheer@physics.gatech.edu.

De Heer is a Regent's Professor of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he has been since 1996. He received his PhD degree in physics from the University of California (UC) at Berkeley in 1985 and continued at UC-Berkeley as a postdoctoral fellow before joining the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland. De Heer also is a fellow of the American Physical Society, recognized for his pioneering work in metal clusters and nano-tubes. His development of nanopatterned epitaxial graphene for nano-electronics was named one of Technology Review's “Top 10 Technology Breakthroughs” in 2008.

Thomas Seyller can be reached at the Lehrstuhl f¨r Technische Physik, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erwin-Rommel-Str. 1, 91058 Erlangen, Germany; and e-mail Thomas.Seyller@physik.uni-erlangen.de.

Seyller is a senior research associate at the Chair of Technical Physics at Erlangen-Nürnberg. He earned his Diploma in physics (1993) and his PhD degree in physical chemistry (1996) from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. Following postdoctoral work at Pennsylvania State University, Seyller returned to the Chair of Technical Physics at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg as a scientific research associate. In 2006, Seyller completed his Habilitation in physics. His research interests lie in the growth and characterization of electronic materials, particularly SiC and epitaxial graphene.

Claire Berger can be reached at the French National Center for Scientific Research—Institut Néel, 38042 Grenoble Cedex 9, France; and e-mail claire.berger@grenoble.cnrs.fr.

Berger is a visiting research scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she and co-workers have pioneered graphene electronics. She received her PhD degree in physics from the University Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France, and afterward was a postdoctoral fellow with the Center for Atomic Studies, France. Berger joined the French National Center for Scientific Research in Grenoble, where her main interest was electronic properties of quasicrystals. Her primary research focus is the growth and electronic transport properties of epitaxial graphene.

Joseph A. Stroscio can be reached at the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA; and e-mail joseph.stroscio@nist.gov.

Stroscio joined the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 1987 after postdoctoral work at IBM, where he pioneered key developments in scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy. He received his PhD degree in physics from Cornell University. His research interests include atomic manipulation, the physics of low-dimensional systems and nanostructures, and nanoscale magnetism. Stroscio is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Vacuum Society and has received several honors for his research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, including the Department of Commerce Gold Medal Award.

Jeong-Sun Moon can be reached at HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, CA 90265, USA; and e-mail JMoon@hrl.com.

Moon is a senior research scientist at HRL Laboratories, LLC. In 1995, he received his PhD degree from Michigan State University, studying quantum devices and digital-signal-processing. Prior to joining HRL, Moon worked at Sandia National Laboratories. At HRL, he has worked on optical devices and emerging materials/devices/radio frequency circuits using GaN, InP, GaSb, SiGe, and graphene. Moon has authored 60 papers and has served as principal investigator on contracts from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Office of Naval Research, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He also holds nine patents, with five pending.

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