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High temperature MBE of graphene on sapphire and hexagonal boron nitride flakes on sapphire

Cheng, Tin S.; Davies, Andrew; Summerfield, Alex; Cho, YongJin; Cebula, Izabela; Hill, Richard J.A.; Mellor, Christopher J.; Khlobystov, Andrei N.; Taniguchi, Takashi; Watanabe, Kenji; Beton, Peter H.; Foxon, C. Thomas; Eaves, Laurence; Novikov, Sergei V.


Andrew Davies

Alex Summerfield

YongJin Cho

Izabela Cebula

Richard J.A. Hill

Takashi Taniguchi

Kenji Watanabe

C. Thomas Foxon


The discovery of graphene and its remarkable electronic properties has provided scientists with a revolutionary material system for electronics and optoelectronics. Here, the authors investigate molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) as a growth method for graphene layers. The standard dual chamber GENxplor has been specially modified by Veeco to achieve growth temperatures of up to 1850 _C in ultrahigh vacuum conditions and is capable of growth on substrates of up to 3 in. in diameter. To calibrate the growth temperatures, the authors have formed graphene on the Si-face of SiC by heating wafers to temperatures up to 1400 _C and above. To demonstrate the scalability, the authors have formed graphene on SiC substrates with sizes ranging from 10 _ 10mm2 up to 3-in. in diameter. The authors have used a carbon sublimation source to grow graphene on sapphire at substrate temperatures between 1000 and 1650 _C (thermocouple temperatures). The quality of the graphene layers is significantly improved by growing on hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) substrates. The authors observed a significant difference in the sticking coefficient of carbon on the surfaces of sapphire and h-BN flakes. Our atomic force microscopy measurements reveal the formation of an extended hexagonal moir_e pattern when our MBE layers of graphene on h-BN flakes are grown under optimum conditions. The authors attribute this moir_e pattern to the commensurate growth of crystalline graphene on h-BN.


Cheng, T. S., Davies, A., Summerfield, A., Cho, Y., Cebula, I., Hill, R. J., …Novikov, S. V. (2016). High temperature MBE of graphene on sapphire and hexagonal boron nitride flakes on sapphire. Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B, 34(2), 02L101.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 4, 2015
Online Publication Date Jan 11, 2016
Publication Date 2016-03
Deposit Date Apr 21, 2017
Publicly Available Date Apr 21, 2017
Journal Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, Nanotechnology and Microelectronics: Materials, Processing, Measurement, and Phenomena
Print ISSN 2166-2746
Electronic ISSN 2166-2754
Publisher American Institute of Physics
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 2
Article Number 02L101
Pages 02L101
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copyright 2016 Author(s). This article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) License.


JVST_B_34_2016_02L101.pdf (2.3 Mb)

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