Morphological and electronic properties of epitaxial graphene on SiC

R. Yakimova, T. Iakimov, G. R. Yazdi, C. Bouhafs, J. Eriksson, A. Zakharov, A. Boosalis, M. Schubert, V. Darakchieva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We report on the structural and electronic properties of graphene grown on SiC by high-temperature sublimation. We have studied thickness uniformity of graphene grown on 4H-SiC (0 0 0 1), 6H-SiC (0 0 0 1), and 3C-SiC (1 1 1) substrates and investigated in detail graphene surface morphology and electronic properties. Differences in the thickness uniformity of the graphene layers on different SiC polytypes is related mainly to the minimization of the terrace surface energy during the step bunching process. It is also shown that a lower substrate surface roughness results in more uniform step bunching and consequently better quality of the grown graphene. We have compared the three SiC polytypes with a clear conclusion in favor of 3C-SiC. Localized lateral variations in the Fermi energy of graphene are mapped by scanning Kelvin probe microscopy. It is found that the overall single-layer graphene coverage depends strongly on the surface terrace width, where a more homogeneous coverage is favored by wider terraces. It is observed that the step distance is a dominating, factor in determining the unintentional doping of graphene from the SiC substrate. Microfocal spectroscopic ellipsometry mapping of the electronic properties and thickness of epitaxial graphene on 3C-SiC (1 1 1) is also reported. Growth of one monolayer graphene is demonstrated on both Si- and C-polarity of the 3C-SiC substrates and it is shown that large area homogeneous single monolayer graphene can be achieved on the Si-face substrates. Correlations between the number of graphene monolayers on one hand and the main transition associated with an exciton enhanced van Hove singularity at ~4.5 eV and the free-charge carrier scattering time, on the other are established. It is shown that the interface structure on the Si- and C-polarity of the 3C-SiC (1 1 1) differs and has a determining role for the thickness and electronic properties homogeneity of the epitaxial graphene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-59
Number of pages6
JournalPhysica B: Condensed Matter
StatePublished - Apr 15 2014


  • Electronic properties
  • Epitaxial graphene
  • Spectroscopic ellipsometry mapping
  • Step-bunching
  • Sublimation of SiC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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