The transition from 3C SiC(111) to graphene captured by ultra high vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy
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In this paper we clarify the transformation mechanism of 3C-SiC into graphene upon thermal decomposition, by a combination of high resolution Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) images and first principle calculations. We studied the transition from 3C-SiC to graphene by high temperature annealing of C-terminated 3C SiC (1 1 1)/Si (1 1 1) samples in Ultra High Vacuum. By using STM we were able to observe very clear atomic resolution images of the transition from SiC (v33)R30࠴o a new intermediate stage SiC View the MathML source (very close to the graphene (2 נ2) reconstruction) after annealing at 1250 î We also obtained images of the transformation of the intermediate structure into a (1 נ1) monolayer graphene, caused by further sublimation of atoms in the subsurface layer. We have interpreted the results by using Density Functional Theory - Local Density Approximation calculations, which give full account of the SiC (v33)R30࠲econstruction, but fail to describe the SiC View the MathML source structure due to its incommensurability with the 3C-SiC (1 1 1) lattice.
Surfaces and Structural Properties of Condensed Matter