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Chemical characterisation of graphene and related 2D materials

To progress graphene and other advanced 2D materials from exciting research to industrial commercialisation, these atomically thick materials require metrology to support device enhancement and mass production.

Owing to their special planar nature, the surface of the materials and their interface with a device substrate or packaging are of critical importance. Measurement tools are required to determine the chemistry at these interfaces with extreme surface sensitivity and high spatial resolution so that the fundamental understanding of graphene devices and device performance can be understood and improved.

NPL has world-leading experience in the chemical characterisation of surfaces and sub-surfaces on the nano- and microscale using a multi-technique approach to provide a more complete understanding. Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) can provide detailed chemical information for the surface and sub-surface of both inorganic and organic samples, and can also be partnered with high-accuracy depth profiling. With SIMS, both the graphene sheet itself and other parts of any graphene device can be investigated to provide a 2D or 3D map of impurities, contaminant, dopants or surface functionalisations. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy is a complementary technique that is well-established for quantitative surface chemical analysis, for example determining the thickness of organic contaminants, or quantitative measurements of surface dopants. These characterisation techniques provide essential insight into device performance and optimisation.

One of NPL's core missions is to support UK industry and we are also interested in developing our surface and nanoanalysis techniques for industrial graphene characterisation. This includes techniques such as ellipsometry, which can perform thickness measurements very quickly and is ideal for quality control measures.

Chemical characterisation metrology for graphene and 2D materials

Chemical characterisation metrology for graphene and 2D materials


Structural, chemical and electrical characterisation of conductive graphene-polymer composite films
Barry Brennan, Steve J. Spencer, Natalie A. Belsey, Tsegie Faris, Harry Cronin, S. Ravi, P. Silva, Toby Sainsbury, Ian S. Gilmore, Zlatka Stoeva, Andrew J. Pollard
Appl. Surf. Sci.., 403, 403–412 (2017)

Understanding and Controlling Cu-Catalyzed Graphene Nucleation: The Role of Impurities, Roughness, and Oxygen Scavenging
Philipp Braeuninger-Weimer, Barry Brennan, Andrew J. Pollard, and Stephan Hofmann
Chem. Mater., 28, 8905–8915 (2016)

Removal of Contamination from Graphene with a Controllable Mass-Selected Argon Gas Cluster Ion Beam
B. J. Tyler , B. Brennan , H. Stec , T. Patel , L. Hao , I. S Gilmore , and A. J. Pollard
J. Phys. Chem. C, 119, 17836–17841 (2015)

Nucleation Control for Large, Single Crystalline Domains of Monolayer Hexagonal Boron Nitride via Si-Doped Fe Catalysts
S. Caneva, R. S. Weatherup, B. Bayer, B. Brennan, S. J. Spencer, K. Mingard, A. Cabrero-Vilatela, C. Baehtz, A. J. Pollard, and S. Hofmann
Nano Lett., 15, 1867–1875 (2015)

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