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Posted: July 23, 2008

First successful fabrication of a graphene-on-silicon structure

(Nanowerk News) Researchers led by Maki Suemitsu (Tohoku Univ.) have succeeded in fabricating a graphene-on-Si structure for the first time.
Graphene (monolayers of graphite) has a unique electronic structure which endows it with high electron mobility, an order of magnitude larger than that of crystalline Si. Although this has been known since 2004, researchers have used a very rudimentary method to produce graphene; namely, they used an adhesive tape to peel a graphene layer off graphite and then placed it on a substrate.
The team pursed a different avenue and formed at first an extremely thin (80nm) SiC layer on Si. The trick was the use of a Si(110) substrate, rather than the conventional (100 ) to overcome the 20% lattice-mismatch between Si and SiC. This technique has allowed the growth of 3C-SiC(111) layers with strain smaller by a factor of 1/4. Heat treatment of the sample converted the surface to graphene.
This achievement may pave the way for the application of graphene to VLSI. The research was done in the "Research of Innovative Material and Processes for Creation of Next-Generation Electronic Devices" project , headed by Hisatsune Watanabe of SELETE, within the CREST program of Japan Science and Technology Corporation.
Original announcement: http://www.jst.go.jp/pr/announce/20080624/index.html
Source: Japan Science and Technology Agency