Size-Selective Carbon Nanoclusters as Precursors to the Growth of Epitaxial Graphene
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The nucleation and growth mechanisms of graphene on Rh(111) via temperature-programmed growth of C2H4 are studied by scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy, and by density functional theory calculations. By combining our experimental and ﬁrst principles approaches, we show that carbon nanoislands form in the initial stages of graphene growth, possessing an exclusive size of seven honeycomb carbon units (hereafter labeled as 7C6 ). These clusters adopt a domelike hexagonal shape indicating that bonding to the substrate is localized on the peripheral C atoms. Smoluchowski ripening is identiﬁed as the dominant mechanism leading to the formation of graphene, with the size-selective carbon islands as precursors. Control experiments and calculations, whereby coronene molecules, the hydrogenated analogues of 7C6 , are deposited on Rh(111), provide an unambiguous structural and chemical identiﬁcation of the 7C6 building blocks.
Wang , B , Ma , X , Caffio , M , Schaub , R & Li , W-X 2011 , ' Size-Selective Carbon Nanoclusters as Precursors to the Growth of Epitaxial Graphene ' Nano Letters , vol. 11 , no. 2 , pp. 424-430 . DOI: 10.1021/nl103053t
Copyright © 2011, American Chemical Society. This document is the unedited author's version of a Submitted Work that was subsequently accepted for publication in Nano Letters after peer review. To access the final edited and published work, see http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nl103053t
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