Graphitized silicon carbide microbeams: wafer–level, self–aligned graphene on silicon wafers
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Currently proven methods that are used to obtain devices with high-quality graphene on silicon wafers involve the transfer of graphene flakes from a growth substrate, resulting in fundamental limitations for large-scale device fabrication. Moreover, the complex three-dimensional structures of interest for microelectromechanical and nanoelectromechanical systems are hardly compatible with such transfer processes. Here, we introduce a methodology for obtaining thousands of microbeams, made of graphitized silicon carbide on silicon, through a site-selective and wafer-scale approach. A Ni-Cu alloy catalyst mediates a self-aligned graphitization on prepatterned SiC microstructures at a temperature that is compatible with silicon technologies. The graphene nanocoating leads to a dramatically enhanced electrical conductivity, which elevates this approach to an ideal method for the replacement of conductive metal films in silicon carbide-based MEMS and NEMS devices.