Graphene preparation on metals
The lecture that I gave at the "Graphene School 2010" in Cargese, about graphene growth on metals, is available on this link.
Graphene (an atomic layer of carbon arranged in a honeycomb lattice) may be prepared in epitaxy on metal surfaces. First studies date back to the 1960s:
Over the last few years we have developed the preparation of high quality graphene onto a variety of substrates, mostly by chemical vapor deposition. By controlling different growth mechanisms (surface confined ones, temperature-controlled segregation) we are able to prepare single layer graphene under a variety of environments, from ultra-high vacuum to close-to-ambient-pressure atmospheres inside a CVD reactor, and by using different kinds of substrates, from ultra-high quality bulk single-crystal metals like Ir(111) and Re(0001) ones, to high quality thin metal films (e.g. Ir, Re), and low-cost commercial metal foils (Cu, Co).
Recently, we have developed a pulsed CVD-process yielding purely single-layer graphene from copper foils, while standard CVD usually comes together with the formation of multilayer patches. The transfer of these graphene samples to an non-conductive support (oxidized silicon wafers) established their very good electrical properties, with mobilities of several 1000 cm2V-1s-1.
(Left) STM image of graphene on Re(0001) thin films. (Right) Optical images of a CNRS logo obtained with graphene grown on Cu foils by standard and pulsed CVD.