Multilayer graphene sunk growth on Cu(111) surface
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- Multilayer graphene sunk growth on Cu(111) surface
- Dai, Xinyue; Mitchell, Izaac; Kim, Sungkyun; An, Hao; Ding, Feng
- Issue Date
- PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
- CARBON, v.199, pp.233 - 240
- The controllable growth of multilayer graphene is a challenging research topic. Prior results show graphene adlayers can grow beneath pre-existing graphene layers on a Cu(111). The conventional inverted-wedding-cake (IWC) model used to describe this incurs an energy disadvantage due to deformation in the overlying graphene. We propose an alternative theoretical model, the sunk growth mode, for understanding multilayer graphene growth on Cu substrates. Extensive density functional theory (DFT) calculations show that multilayer graphene grown via this sunk mode is energetically favourable compared to the on-terrace growth mode for Cu(111). These results reveal that graphene underlayers tend to grow in a sunk growth mode, minimizing deformation in the overlayers, reducing deformation energy. Further density functional tight binding-molecular dynamic (DFTBMD) simulations on Cu(111) substrates yield sunken structures consistent with our sunk growth mode. Moreover, AFM investigations of experimentally grown multilayer graphene on polycrystaline Cu show that while friction data indicates multiple graphene edges in the sample, the topological height measurement indicates flat graphitic sheets, further confirming our sunk growth mode. This discovery provides a novel and more reasonable model for the "underlayer" growth of multilayer graphene and can be extended to a general theory for the multilayer graphene growth on various substrates.
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