Approaching truly freestanding graphene: the structure of hydrogen-intercalated graphene on 6H-SiC(0001)

Phys Rev Lett. 2015 Mar 13;114(10):106804. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.106804. Epub 2015 Mar 10.


We measure the adsorption height of hydrogen-intercalated quasifreestanding monolayer graphene on the (0001) face of 6H silicon carbide by the normal incidence x-ray standing wave technique. A density functional calculation for the full (6√3×6√3)-R30° unit cell, based on a van der Waals corrected exchange correlation functional, finds a purely physisorptive adsorption height in excellent agreement with experiments, a very low buckling of the graphene layer, a very homogeneous electron density at the interface, and the lowest known adsorption energy per atom for graphene on any substrate. A structural comparison to other graphenes suggests that hydrogen-intercalated graphene on 6H-SiC(0001) approaches ideal graphene.