Controlling the number of layers of graphene grown by chemical vapor deposition is crucial for large scale graphene application. We propose here an etching process of graphene which can be applied immediately after growth to control the number of layers. We use nickel (Ni) foil at high temperature (T = 900 °C) to produce multilayer-AB-stacked-graphene (MLG). The etching process is based on annealing the samples in a hydrogen/argon atmosphere at a relatively low temperature (T = 450 °C) inside the growth chamber. The extent of etching is mainly controlled by the annealing process duration. Using Raman spectroscopy we demonstrate that the number of layers was reduced, changing from MLG to few-layer-AB-stacked-graphene and in some cases to randomly oriented few layer graphene near the substrate. Furthermore, our method offers the significant advantage that it does not introduce defects in the samples, maintaining their original high quality. This fact and the low temperature our method uses make it a good candidate for controlling the layer number of already grown graphene in processes with a low thermal budget.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering