Open Access Nano Express

Multiscale investigation of graphene layers on 6H-SiC(000-1)

Antoine Tiberj1*, Jean-Roch Huntzinger1, Jean Camassel1, Fanny Hiebel2, Ather Mahmood2, Pierre Mallet2, Cecile Naud2 and Jean-Yves Veuillen2*

Author Affiliations

1 Groupe d'Etude des Semiconducteurs, UMR5650 CNRS-Université Montpellier II, cc074, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France

2 Institut Néel, CNRS-UJF, Boîte Postale 166, 38042 Grenoble Cedex 9, France

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:171  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-171

Published: 24 February 2011

Abstract

In this article, a multiscale investigation of few graphene layers grown on 6H-SiC(000-1) under ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) conditions is presented. At 100-μm scale, the authors show that the UHV growth yields few layer graphene (FLG) with an average thickness given by Auger spectroscopy between 1 and 2 graphene planes. At the same scale, electron diffraction reveals a significant rotational disorder between the first graphene layer and the SiC surface, although well-defined preferred orientations exist. This is confirmed at the nanometer scale by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). Finally, STM (at the nm scale) and Raman spectroscopy (at the μm scale) show that the FLG stacking is turbostratic, and that the domain size of the crystallites ranges from 10 to 100 nm. The most striking result is that the FLGs experience a strong compressive stress that is seldom observed for graphene grown on the C face of SiC substrates.