Multidimensional characterization, Landau levels and Density of States in epitaxial graphene grown on SiC substrates
© Camara et al; licensee Springer. 2011
Received: 13 September 2010
Accepted: 14 February 2011
Published: 14 February 2011
Using high-temperature annealing conditions with a graphite cap covering the C-face of, both, on axis and 8° off-axis 4H-SiC samples, large and homogeneous single epitaxial graphene layers have been grown. Raman spectroscopy shows evidence of the almost free-standing character of these monolayer graphene sheets, which was confirmed by magneto-transport measurements. On the best samples, we find a moderate p-type doping, a high-carrier mobility and resolve the half-integer quantum Hall effect typical of high-quality graphene samples. A rough estimation of the density of states is given from temperature measurements.
It is now widely accepted that graphene-based devices are promising candidates to complement silicon in the future generations of high-frequency microelectronic devices. To this end, the most favourable technique to produce graphene for industrial scale applications seems to be epitaxial graphene (EG) growth. This can be done by chemical vapour deposition on a metal [1, 2] or by heating a SiC wafer up to the graphitisation temperature [3–6]. In the first case, the disadvantage is the need to transfer the graphene film on an insulating wafer. In the second case, the SiC wafer plays the role of the insulating substrate without any need for further manipulation. Of course, to be suitable for the microelectronics industry, these EG layers must be continuous and homogeneous at the full wafer scale or, at least, on surfaces large enough to process devices.
On the Si-face of 6H or 4H SiC substrates, graphitisation at high temperature in an Ar atmosphere close to atmospheric pressure shows promising results for on-axis substrates. In this way, single-layer epitaxial graphene (SLEG) has already been grown at the full wafer scale [7, 8] but an open issue remains the 6√3 SiC surface reconstruction which is a C-rich buffer monolayer on top of the SiC substrate. The first "real" graphene layer on top of this buffer layer is strained, not at all free-standing, strongly coupled to the C-rich buffer, heavily n-type doped, with a low-carrier mobility. On the contrary, on the C-face of the same SiC substrates, there is no need of a C-rich buffer layer at the interface before growing the first graphene layer [9–12]. In this way, the mobility could reach 30,000 cm2/V s in the work of Ref. .
For a long time, whatever the growth technique, the uniformity and quality of the EG was not good enough to find evidence of the so-called "half integer" quantum Hall effect (QHE). However, recently, large SLEG areas have been produced on the C-face of on-axis SiC substrates and, on such monolayer graphene, the carriers were holes with mobility close to the one found in mechanically exfoliated graphene films on SiO2/Si . Consequently, the QHE could be demonstrated . This shows clearly the advantage and quality of SLEG grown on the on-axis C-face of a SiC wafer over the on-axis Si-face. However, for further integration of graphene with current SiC technology, 8° off-axis substrates should be also considered since they constitute the standard in modern SiC industry .
In this work, we compare the results of graphene growth on semi-insulating, on axis and and 8° off-axis, 4H-SiC substrates. The quality, uniformity and size of the growth products will be compared using optical microscopy (OM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and micro-Raman spectroscopy (μR). Then, Hall effect measurements will be done at different temperature in order to extract the density of states in the epitaxial monolayers.
Graphene growth, microscopy and Raman studies
Tens of similar monolayer islands grown on, both, on axis and off-axis substrates were probed by Raman spectroscopy. We used the 514 nm laser line of an Ar-ion laser for excitation and got very similar features. At the micrometer size, all spectra reveal that the islands are of the same nature and very homogeneous. First, the D-band, which usually indicates the presence of disorder or edges defects, is very weak and the Raman signature is extremely close to the one found for exfoliated graphene on SiO2/Si . Second, the 2D-band appears at low frequency (2685 cm-1) which is strong evidence that there is no strain at the layer to substrate interface (i.e. almost a free-standing SLEG layer). Third, this 2D-band can be fitted with a single Lorentzian shape with a FWHM of 30 cm-1. Fourth, the ratio I 2D/I G between the integrated intensities of the 2D-band and the G-band is high, which suggests weak residual doping in the order of 3 to 6 × 1012 cm-2. Altogether, these Raman and microscopy measurements tend to demonstrate the almost free-standing low-doped and continuous character of the grown layers [12, 19].
Electrical transport measurements
Then transport measurements were done at low temperature on the different samples, using a maximum magnetic field of 13.5 T. The contact geometry allowed simultaneous measurement of, both, the longitudinal and transverse voltages with the current flowing between two injection contacts at the flake extremities. In both series of samples, from the sign of the Hall voltage, we found that the carriers were holes (in agreement with other results published on the C-face [13, 14]). The holes concentration ranged from 1 × 1012 to 1 × 1013 cm-2 at low temperature, with a weak temperature dependence.
For the low doped layers, the transverse resistance exhibits now quantized Hall plateaus, clearly governed by the sequence R K /4(N + 1/2) in which R K = h/e 2 is the Von Klitzing constant  and N = 0, 1, 2... As already known, this peculiar sequence of resistance values is the well-known quantum transport signature of the monolayer graphene Landau levels . In Figure 4(b).we show the longitudinal and Hall resistance values for such a low-doped SLEG device with hole concentration n s = 1.2 × 1012 cm-2 and mobility μ ~5000 cm2/V s at T = 1.6 K. At B = 12 T, the longitudinal resistance cancels while the transverse resistance tends to 12.9 kΩ which is the expected value for the N = 0 plateau (R K /2).
The temperature dependence of ρ xx (B) is shown in Figure 5a, between 1.6 and 44 K. In this temperature range, an activated behaviour is found for the resistivity: ρ xx ~exp(-E a/k B T) of the N = 0 plateau. This activation energy E a is the energy separation between the Fermi energy E F and the delocalised states of the N = 1 Landau level. In Figure 5b we plot the resistivities values ρ xx taken at different magnetic fields in the vicinity of the R K /2 plateau. The activation energy E a varies from 0.7 to 3.3 meV between B = 10 and 13 T, which remains much smaller than the distance between the first and the second Landau level (~120 meV at B = 10 T). This indicates that the Fermi energy is firmly pinned by localised states. E a has been calculated by taking into account only temperatures above 6 K. At lower temperatures, there is an additional contribution to the conductivity, which is visible in Figure 5b as a change in the slope. We attribute this additional contribution to hopping.
In principle, from the activation energy, we can reconstruct the density of state ρ(E). The filling factor is calculated from B = 10 to 13 T, each filling factor change Δν at a given magnetic field corresponding to a density variation Δn s = n sΔν/ν. The Fermi energy shifts by ΔE a to compensate for the density variation and the mean value for the density of states at energy ~E a is given by ρ(E) = Δn s/ΔE a.
To summarize, we have shown the possibility to grow large islands of monolayer graphene on the C-face of on-axis and 8° off-axis commercial 4H-SiC wafers. The graphene layers are continuous, almost free-standing and show quantum transport properties comparable with high-quality, low-doped, exfoliated graphene. We show evidence of half-integer QHE specific of graphene monolayer and give a first estimate of the density of states in the magnetic field.
atomic force microscopy
half-width at half-maximum
quantum Hall effect
scanning electron microscopy
single-layer epitaxial graphene.
This work was supported by the French ANR ("GraphSiC" Project No. ANR-07-BLAN-0161). We acknowledge the EC for partial support through the RTN ManSiC Project, and the Spanish Government through a grant Juan de la Cierva.
- Sutter PW, Flege JI, Sutter EA: Epitaxial graphene on ruthenium. Nat Mater 2008, 7: 406. 10.1038/nmat2166View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Coraux J, N'Diaye AT, Busse C, Michely T: Structural Coherency of Graphene on Ir(111). Nano Lett 2008, 8: 565. 10.1021/nl0728874View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Forbeaux I, Themlin JM, Debever JM: Heteroepitaxial graphite on 6H-SiC(0001): Interface formation through conduction-band electronic structure. Phys Rev B 1998, 58: 16396–16406. 10.1103/PhysRevB.58.16396View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Berger C, Song ZM, Li TB, Li XB, Ogbazghi AY, Feng R, Dai ZT, Marchenkov AN, Conrad EH, First PN, de Heer WA: Ultrathin Epitaxial Graphite: 2D Electron Gas Properties and a Route toward Graphene-based Nanoelectronics. J Phys Chem B 2004, 108: 19912. 10.1021/jp040650fView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- de Heer WA, Berger C, Wu XS, First PN, Conrad EH, Li XB, Li TB, Sprinkle M, Hass J, Sadowski , Potemski M, Martinez G: Epitaxial graphene. Solid State Commun 2007, 143: 92. 10.1016/j.ssc.2007.04.023View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Kedzierski J, Hsu PL, Healey P, Wyatt PW, Keast CL, Sprinkle M, Berger C, de Heer WA: Epitaxial Graphene Transistors on SiC Substrates. IEEE Trans Electron Dev 2008, 55: 2078. 10.1109/TED.2008.926593View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Emtsev KV, Bostwick A, Horn K, Jobst J, Kellogg GL, Ley L, McChesney JL, Ohta T, Reshanov SA, Rohrl J, Rotenberg E, Schmid AK, Waldmann D, Weber HB, Seyller T: Towards wafer-size graphene layers by atmospheric pressure graphitization of silicon carbide. Nat Mater 2009, 8: 203–207. 10.1038/nmat2382View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Virojanadara C, Syvajarvi M, Yakimova R, Johansson LI, Zakharov AA, Balasubramanian T: Homogeneous large-area graphene layer growth on 6H-SiC(0001). Phys Rev B 2008, 78: 245403. 10.1103/PhysRevB.78.245403View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Hass J, Varchon F, Millan-Otoya JE, Sprinkle M, Sharma N, De Heer WA, Berger C, First PN, Magaud L, Conrad EH: Why Multilayer Graphene on 4H-SiC (000–1) Behaves Like a Single Sheet of Graphene. Phys Rev Lett 2008, 100: 125504. 10.1103/PhysRevLett.100.125504View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Sprinkle M, Siegel DA, Hu Y, Hicks J, Tejeda A, Taleb-Ibrahimi A, Le Fèvre P, Bertran F, Vizzini S, Enriquez H, Chiang S, Soukiassian P, Berger C, De Heer WA, Lanzara A, Conrad EH: First Direct Observation of a Nearly Ideal Graphene Band Structure. Phys Rev Lett 2009, 103: 226803. 10.1103/PhysRevLett.103.226803View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Camara N, Tiberj A, Jouault B, Caboni A, Jabakhanji B, Mestres N, Godignon P, Camassel J: Current status of self-organized epitaxial graphene ribbons on the C face of 6H-SiC substrates. J Phys D 2010, 43: 374011. 10.1088/0022-3727/43/37/374011View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Camara N, Huntzinger JR, Rius G, Tiberj A, Mestres N, Perez-Murano F, Godignon P, Camassel J: Anisotropic growth of long isolated graphene ribbons on the C face of graphite-capped 6H-SiC. Phys Rev B 2009, 80: 125410. 10.1103/PhysRevB.80.125410View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Berger C, Song ZM, Li XB, Wu XS, Brown N, Naud C, Mayo D, Li TB, Hass J, Marchenkov AN, Conrad EH, First PN, de Heer WA: Electronic Confinement and Coherence in Patterned Epitaxial Graphene. Science 2006, 312: 1191–1196. 10.1126/science.1125925View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Novoselov KS, Geim AK, Morozov SV, Jiang D, Katsnelson MI, Grigorieva IV, Dubonos SV, Firsov AA: Two-dimensional gas of massless Dirac fermions in graphene. Nature 2005, 438: 197. 10.1038/nature04233View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Wu X, Hu Y, Ruan M, Madiomanana NK, Hankinson J, Sprinkle M, Berger C, De Heer WA: Half integer quantum Hall effect in high mobility single layer epitaxial graphene. Appl Phys Lett 2009, 95: 223108. 10.1063/1.3266524View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Si W, Dudley M, Shuang Kong H, Sumakeris J, Carter C: Investigations of 3C-SiC inclusions in 4H-SiC epilayers on 4H-SiC single crystal substrates. J Electron Mater 1996, 26: 151. 10.1007/s11664-997-0142-4View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Ferrari AC, Meyer JC, Scardaci V, Casiraghi C, Lazzeri M, Mauri F, Piscanec S, Jiang D, Novoselov KS, Roth S, Geim AK: Raman Spectrum of Graphene and Graphene Layers. Phys Rev Lett 2006, 97: 187401. 10.1103/PhysRevLett.97.187401View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Basko DM, Piscanec S, Ferrari AC: Electron-electron interactions and doping dependence of the two-phonon Raman intensity in graphene. Phys Rev B 2009, 80: 165413. 10.1103/PhysRevB.80.165413View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Camara N, Jouault B, Caboni A, Jabakhanji B, Desrat W, Pausas E, Consejo C, Mestres N, Godignon P, Camassel J: Growth of monolayer graphene on 8° off-axis 4H-SiC (000–1) substrates with application to quantum transport devices. Appl Phys Lett 2010, 97: 093107. 10.1063/1.3480610View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Von Klitzing K: The quantized Hall Effect. Rev Modern Phy 1986, 58: 519. 10.1103/RevModPhys.58.519View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Weiss D, Stahl E, Weimann G, Ploog K, von Klitzing K: Density of States in Landau Level Tails of GaAs-AlxGa1-xAs Heterostructures. Surf Sci 1986, 170: 285. 10.1016/0039-6028(86)90976-3View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Song YJ, Otte AF, Kuk Y, Hu Y, Torrance DB, First PN, de Heer WA, Min H, Adam S, Stiles MD, MacDonald AH, Stroscio JA: High-resolution tunnelling spectroscopy of a graphene quartet. Nature 2010, 467: 185. 10.1038/nature09330View ArticleGoogle Scholar
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.