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High quality epitaxial graphene on 4H-SiC by face-to-face growth in ultra-high vacuum

Zebardastan, Negar; Bradford, Jonathan; Lipton-Duffin, Josh; MacLeod, Jennifer; Ostrikov, Kostya (Ken); Tomellini, Massimo; Motta, Nunzio

High quality epitaxial graphene on 4H-SiC by face-to-face growth in ultra-high vacuum Thumbnail


Negar Zebardastan

Josh Lipton-Duffin

Jennifer MacLeod

Kostya (Ken) Ostrikov

Massimo Tomellini

Nunzio Motta


Epitaxial graphene on SiC is the most promising substrate for the next generation 2D electronics, due to the possibility to fabricate 2D heterostructures directly on it, opening the door to the use of all technological processes developed for silicon electronics. To obtain a suitable material for large scale applications, it is essential to achieve perfect control of size, quality, growth rate and thickness. Here we show that this control on epitaxial graphene can be achieved by exploiting the face-to-face annealing of SiC in ultra-high vacuum. With this method, Si atoms trapped in the narrow space between two SiC wafers at high temperatures contribute to the reduction of the Si sublimation rate, allowing to achieve smooth and virtually defect free single graphene layers. We analyse the products obtained on both on-axis and off-axis 4H-SiC substrates in a wide range of temperatures (1300 °C-1500 °C), determining the growth law with the help of x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Our epitaxial graphene on SiC has terrace widths up to 10 μm (on-axis) and 500 nm (off-axis) as demonstrated by atomic force microscopy and scanning tunnelling microscopy, while XPS and Raman spectroscopy confirm high purity and crystalline quality.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 5, 2022
Online Publication Date Dec 23, 2022
Publication Date Mar 5, 2023
Deposit Date Jan 9, 2023
Publicly Available Date Dec 24, 2023
Journal Nanotechnology
Print ISSN 0957-4484
Electronic ISSN 1361-6528
Publisher IOP Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 10
Article Number 105601
Keywords epitaxial graphene, face to face growth, thermal decomposition, ultra-high vacuum, silicon sublimation, SiC
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the Accepted Manuscript version of an article accepted for publication in Nanotechnology. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at


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