Review on Large-Area Synthesis of Graphene Films, Transfer process, Characterizations and Applications

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Introduction

Recently, much attention has turned to the structural and electronic properties of carbon-based materials. At present, especially, graphene is the hottest topics in condensed-matter physics and materials science. This is because graphene has not only unusual properties regarding extreme mechanical strength, thermal conductivity and 2-diemensional films, but also peculiar electronic characteristics such as Dirac-particles with a linear dispersion, transport energy gap and simply absorption coefficient of lights (Geim & Novoselov, 2007; Nair et al., 2008).

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These unique properties mean it could have a wide array of practical uses. In addition to monolayer graphene, few-layer graphene has been extensively studied. For example, bi-layer graphene creates a band gap when an external electric field is applied (Castro et al., 2007; Zhang et al., 2009). Graphene sheets have been produced mainly by exfoliating graphene flakes from bulk graphite and depositing them on the SiO2/Si substrate. However, the size and crystalline quality are not easily controlled. Some groups have grown epitaxially graphene sheets on SiC(0001) (Hibino et al., 2010), however the graphene layers have been widely distributed in thickness. ((N. G. Prikhod’ko et al. RUSSIAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B Vol. 8 No. 1 2014)

Graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, is a 2D material with outstanding physical properties. The successful isolation of graphene has drawn great interest for experimental investigations and has opened the route for a wide range of potential applications. Mechanically exfoliated graphene from bulk graphite has enabled fundamental investigations on the physical properties of graphene; however, this technique is not suitable for the integration in practical device fabrication processes nor for the synthesis of large surface area devices. For several applications, if one excludes active semiconducting devices exploiting the quantum properties of single carbon layers, a material composed of a few layers graphene (FLG) is also extremely promising. The overall characteristics of graphene ?lms, both single and FLG, such as size, crystallinity, continuity, homogeneity and fabrication reproducibility are mandatory for successful practical application. (R. Giorgi et al).

Synthesis methods

Synthesis of Graphene Films in a Flame

The results of studying the synthesis of graphenes in a premixed propane–oxygen–argon flame at atmospheric conditions are reported. The temperature of 900–950°C and exposure time of 5 min are demonstrated to be suitable for the synthesis of graphene films on a nickel substrate, which is preferable to a copper substrate. It is demonstrated that the formation of graphene layers on the substrate occurs vertically along the flame height, with subsequent changeover to a soot structure. It is shown that the minimum number of graphene layers (two or three) is observed at angles of inclination of the substrate relative to the vertical axis of the flame within 0°–30°.

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