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Mar 14th, 2014
 
Direct growth of graphene on aluminium nitride on silicon
 
Researchers in France led by the CRHEA laboratory have developed a technique to directly grow graphene on aluminium nitride (AlN) crystalline templates on silicon substrates [A. Michon et al, Appl. Phys. Lett., vol104, p071912, 2014].
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Graphene layers has been most commonly grown on metal substrates or thin metallic films through catalytic growth in a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) reactor and then transferred on any surface. However as the transfer step represents an additional process complexity and costs  and can degrade the quality of the graphene film, it appears more desirable to grow graphene directly on the final substrate. Graphitic films can also be grown directly on SiO 2/Si using plasma-enhanced CVD, but this lead to the formation of nanographene islands more than to a 2D film.

Another technique to grow graphene is to anneal silicon carbide (SiC) substrates at ~1200°C, driving out the silicon from the surface and leaving the carbon atoms in a graphene structure.

Recently, techniques have been developed for molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of graphene on silicon carbide and sapphire. The technique developed at CRHEA-CNRS, L2C-CNRS/Université Montpellier 2, and NOVASiC company could open up graphene for applications using larger-area and lower-cost production such as for CMOS or for gallium nitride (GaN)-based light-emitting devices and power/high-speed electronic devices.

The researchers suggest that “high-quality graphene could be grown on bulk AlN substrates, thanks to a lower density of defects and to the possibility to grow graphene at temperatures above the silicon melting point.”

 

 
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