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Structural analysis of graphene and related 2D materials

The properties of graphene are determined by a complex combination of the morphology, chemistry and the electronic state of the graphene, which originate in a mixture of its intrinsic and extrinsic properties, as the material can be easily doped (or contaminated) by its interaction with the atmosphere and substrate.

Therefore, techniques need to be developed which can measure essential properties on a local scale and, most importantly, correlate these measurements with the material device performance.

The capability for real-time, in situ analysis represents a major strength of these techniques. Study of the environmental effects (temperature, humidity, gas composition) on the structural and mechanical properties of graphene is an additional advantage of these methods.

Aim: Metrological methods for measurements of key structural properties of graphene (e.g. lateral size and thickness, stiffness, deformation, defect structure, etc.).

Realisation: Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM - including force modulation, force distance and lateral force microscopy modes), Scanning Tunnelling Microspcopy (STM) and Raman spectroscopy and microscopy techniques will be applied for studies of surface morphology and structure, quantitative nanomechanical properties (i.e. Young's Modulus, deformation level, adhesion, etc.), of graphene and other truly 2D materials.

Measurement Techniques

AFM image of graphene Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
For mapping the surface topography in combination with quantitative measurements of such fundamental properties as Young Modulus, deformation level, adhesion, etc.
STM image of graphene Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy (STM)
For imaging surfaces at the atomic level, gaining information on the electronic structure and mapping the local density of states as a function of energy within the sample.
Raman image of graphene Raman spectroscopy and microscopy
For identifying and mapping the number and orientation of layers, defects, contamination and doping of surfaces, with up to 10 nm lateral resolution using tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS).


Exploring the growth of epitaxial graphene Exploring the growth of epitaxial graphene


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)

Effect of disorder on Raman scattering of single-layer MoS2
S. Mignuzzi, A. J. Pollard, N. Bonini, B. Brennan, I. S. Gilmore, M. A. Pimenta, D. Richards, and D. Roy
Phys. Rev. B, 91, 195411 (2015)

Probing individual point defects in graphene via near-field Raman scattering
S. Mignuzzi, N. Kumar, B. Brennan, I. S. Gilmore, D. Richards, A. J. Pollard and D. Roy
Nanoscale, 7, 19413–19418 (2015)

Exploring graphene formation on the C-terminated face of SiC by structural, chemical and electrical methods
Cristina E. Giusca, Steve J. Spencer, Alex G. Shard, Rositza Yakimova, Olga Kazakova
Carbon 69, pp 221–229, (2013)

Epitaxial graphene on SiC (000-1): electrical functional microscopy studies and effect of atmosphere
O Kazakova, T L Burnett, J Patten, L Yang, and R Yakimova
Nanotechnology, 24, 215702 (2013)

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