Preparation of Copper Surface for the Synthesis of Single-Layer Graphene

Nanomaterials (Basel). 2021 Apr 22;11(5):1071. doi: 10.3390/nano11051071.


Chemical vapor deposition synthesis of graphene on copper foil from methane is the most promising technology for industrial production. However, an important problem of the formation of the additional graphene layers during synthesis arises due to the strong roughness of the initial copper foil. In this paper, various approaches are demonstrated to form a smooth copper surface before graphene synthesis to reduce the amount of few layer graphene islands. Six methods of surface processing of copper foils are studied and the decrease of the roughness from 250 to as low as 80 nm is achieved. The correlation between foil roughness and the formation of the additional layer is demonstrated. Under optimized conditions of surface treatment, the content of the additional graphene layer drops from 9 to 2.1%. The quality and the number of layers of synthesized graphene are analyzed by Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and measurements of charge mobility.

Keywords: CVD synthesis; electrochemical polishing; graphene monolayer; surface treatment.