Skip to main content

Combinatorial Cu-Ni Alloy Thin-Film Catalysts for Layer Number Control in Chemical Vapor-Deposited Graphene...

by Ivan V Vlassiouk
Publication Type
Journal Name
Publication Date
Page Number

We synthesized a combinatorial library of CuxNi1−x alloy thin films via co-sputtering from Cu and Ni targets to catalyze graphene chemical vapor deposition. The alloy morphology, composition, and microstructure were characterized via scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and X-ray diffraction (XRD), respectively. Subsequently, the CuxNi1−x alloy thin films were used to grow graphene in a CH4-Ar-H2 ambient at atmospheric pressure. The underlying rationale is to adjust the CuxNi1−x composition to control the graphene. Energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analysis revealed that a continuous gradient of CuxNi1−x (25 at. % < x < 83 at.%) was initially achieved across the 100 mm diameter substrate (~0.9%/mm composition gradient). The XRD spectra confirmed a solid solution was realized and the face-centered cubic lattice parameter varied from ~3.52 to 3.58 A˙, consistent with the measured composition gradient, assuming Vegard’s law. Optical microscopy and Raman analysis of the graphene layers suggest single layer growth occurs with x > 69 at.%, bilayer growth dominates from 48 at.% < x < 69 at.%, and multilayer (≥3) growth occurs for x < 48 at.%, where x is the Cu concentration. Finally, a large area of bi-layer graphene was grown via a CuxNi1−x catalyst with optimized catalyst composition and growth temperature.