a1 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and The Center for Optoelectronics and Optical Communications, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223, U.S.A.
We report a technique that can, in principle, selectively convert SiC into graphene at any location and in any size or shape, limited only by the ability of the available lithographic techniques. This technique relies on our discovery that, at ambient condition, a laser beam can convert SiC into graphene layers at the illuminated site, and the conversion can be realized in two ways. One can pattern the SiC film, which is already grown on a Si wafer, with desirable features and then illuminate the SiC film with the laser, or simply “write” the graphene features directly onto the unpatterned SiC film with the laser. Alternatively, one can pre-pattern the Si substrate to achieve selective growth of SiC, then perform the laser conversion. We have demonstrated the feasibility of both approaches. Fullerene (C60) was used to grow a thin SiC film on a Si (111) substrate using molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) at 700-800 oC. The results are verified by various structural, chemical and optical characterization techniques. This work yields the possibility of fabricating graphene based (electronic) nanostructures or superlattices, photonic crystals, and integrated electronic and optoelectronic devices on a large Si wafer.