Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel bio-inspired method to grow high-quality graphene for high-end electronic devices

Date:
December 12, 2013
Source:
National University of Singapore
Summary:
Researchers have successfully developed an innovative one-step method to grow and transfer high-quality graphene on silicon and other stiff substrates, opening up opportunities for graphene to be used in high-value applications that are currently not technologically feasible.

Researchers at NUS’ Graphene Research Centre working on wafer scale graphene.
Credit: National University of Singapore

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS), led by Professor Loh Kian Ping, who heads the Department of Chemistry at the NUS Faculty of Science, has successfully developed an innovative one-step method to grow and transfer high-quality graphene on silicon and other stiff substrates, opening up opportunities for graphene to be used in high-value applications that are currently not technologically feasible.

Related Articles


This breakthrough, inspired by how beetles and tree frogs keep their feet attached to submerged leaves, is the first published technique that accomplishes both the growth and transfer steps of graphene on a silicon wafer. This technique enables the technological application of graphene in photonics and electronics, for devices such as optoelectronic modulators, transistors, on-chip biosensors and tunneling barriers.

The innovation was first published online in the scientific journal Nature on 11 December 2013.

Demand for graphene in silicon-based industries

Graphene has attracted a lot of attention in recent years because of its outstanding electronic, optical and mechanical properties, as well as its use as transparent conductive films for touch screen panels of electrodes. However, the production of high quality wafer-scale graphene films is beset by many challenges, among which is the absence of a technique to grow and transfer graphene with minimal defects for use in semiconductor industries.

Said Prof Loh, who is also a Principal Investigator with the Graphene Research Centre at NUS Faculty of Science, "Although there are many potential applications for flexible graphene, it must be remembered that to date, most semiconductors operate on "stiff" substrates such as silicon and quartz."

"The direct growth of graphene film on silicon wafer is useful for enabling multiple optoelectronic applications, but current research efforts remain grounded at the proof-of-concept stage. A transfer method serving this market segment is definitely needed, and has been neglected in the hype for flexible devices," Prof Loh added.

Drawing inspiration from beetles and tree frogs

To address the current technological gap, the NUS team led by Prof Loh drew their cues from how beetles and tree frogs keep their feet attached to fully submerged leaves, and developed a new process called "face-to-face transfer."

Dr Gao Libo, the first author of the paper and a researcher with the Graphene Research Centre at NUS Faculty of Science, grew graphene on a copper catalyst layer coating a silicon substrate. After growth, the copper is etched away while the graphene is held in place by bubbles that form capillary bridges, similar to those seen around the feet of beetles and tree frogs attached to submerged leaves. The capillary bridges help to keep the graphene on the silicon surface and prevent its delamination during the etching of the copper catalyst. The graphene then attaches to the silicon layer.

To facilitate the formation of capillary bridges, a pre-treatment step involving the injection of gases into the wafer was applied by Dr Gao. This helps to modify the properties of the interface and facilitates the formation of capillary bridges during the infiltration of a catalyst-removal liquid. The co-addition of surfactant helps to iron out any folds and creases that may be created during the transfer process.

Industrial applications and new insights

This novel technique of growing graphene directly on silicon wafers and other stiff substrates will be very useful for the development of rapidly emerging graphene-on-silicon platforms, which have shown a promising range of applications. The "face-to-face transfer" method developed by the NUS team is also amenable to batch-processed semiconductor production lines, such as the fabrication of large-scale integrated circuits on silicon wafers.

To further their research, Prof Loh and his team will optimise the process in order to achieve high throughput production of large diameter graphene on silicon, as well as target specific graphene-enabled applications on silicon. The team is also applying the techniques to other two-dimensional films. Talks are now underway with potential industry partners.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National University of Singapore. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Libo Gao, Guang-Xin Ni, Yanpeng Liu, Bo Liu, Antonio H. Castro Neto & et al. Face-to-face transfer of wafer-scale graphene films. Nature, 2013 DOI: 10.1038/nature12763

Cite This Page:

National University of Singapore. "Novel bio-inspired method to grow high-quality graphene for high-end electronic devices." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131212094934.htm>.
National University of Singapore. (2013, December 12). Novel bio-inspired method to grow high-quality graphene for high-end electronic devices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131212094934.htm
National University of Singapore. "Novel bio-inspired method to grow high-quality graphene for high-end electronic devices." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131212094934.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) With no immediate prospect of sanctions relief for Iran, and no solid progress in negotiations with the West over the country's nuclear programme, Ciara Lee asks why talks have still not produced results and what a resolution would mean for both parties. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) A virtual flying enthusiast converts parts of a written-off Airbus aircraft into a working flight simulator in his northern Slovenian home. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Microsoft has robotic security guards working at its Silicon Valley Campus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins