Observation of Early to Full Covering Stages of Ethylene-based CVD of Graphene

K. Celebi, J.W. Choi, M.T. Cole, A.O. Altun, K.B.K. Teo, H.G. Park
ETH Zurich, CH

Keywords: graphene, ethylene, intermediate temperature, CVD, surface energy rectification


Scalable growth of graphene has been demonstrated by chemical vapour deposition (CVD) using copper-based catalyst and ethylene precursor. Here, we present our ethylene-based CVD synthesis method of graphene along with our observation of early and full covering stages of the graphene synthesis. Our method can lower the annealing and growth temperatures to 800°C for monolayer graphene growth on films and foils of copper. We discuss the mechanism of ethylene-based graphene formation in comparison with its counterpart, methane-based growth. Observed graphene kinetics under various temperatures followed a monomolecular nature from which activation energy can be determined, hinting about a rate limiting step during graphene synthesis. In addition, synthesis conditions of fully covering graphene on metal catalysts are proposed. Finally, we show a potential of the surface energy rectification via different extents of graphene covering of a metal surface.