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Title: Copper intercalation at the interface of graphene and Ir(111) studied by scanning tunneling microscopy

We report on the intercalation of a submonolayer of copper at 775 K underneath graphene epitaxially grown on Ir(111) studied by means of low energy electron diffraction (LEED) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) at 77 K. Nucleation and growth dynamics of Cu below graphene have been investigated, and, most importantly, the intercalation mechanism has been identified. First, LEED patterns reveal the pseudomorphic growth of Cu on Ir under the topmost graphene layer resulting in a large Cu in-plane lattice parameter expansion of about 6% compared to Cu(111). Second, large-scale STM topographs as a function of Cu coverage show that Cu diffusion on Ir below graphene exhibits a low energy barrier resulting in Cu accumulation at Ir step edges. As a result, the graphene sheet undergoes a strong edges reshaping. Finally, atomically-resolved STM images reveal a damaged graphene sheet at the atomic scale after metal intercalation. Point defects in graphene were shown to be carbon vacancies. According to these results, a Cu penetration path beneath graphene is proposed to occur via metal aided defect formation with no or poor self healing of the graphene sheet. This work illustrates the fact that Cu intercalation is harmful for graphene grown on Ir(111) at the atomicmore » scale.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Institut Jean Lamour, UMR 7198, CNRS Université de Lorraine, BP 70239, 54506 Vandoeuvre lès Nancy (France)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22391935
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 105; Journal Issue: 19; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; CLATHRATES; COPPER; ELECTRON DIFFRACTION; EPITAXY; GRAPHENE; IRIDIUM; LATTICE PARAMETERS; LAYERS; POINT DEFECTS; SCANNING TUNNELING MICROSCOPY; SHEETS