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Growth of large-area graphene films from metal-carbon melts

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We have demonstrated a new method for the large-area graphene growth, which can lead to a scalable low-cost high-throughput production technology. The method is based on growing single layer or few-layer graphene films from a molten phase. The process involves dissolving carbon inside a molten metal at a specified temperature and then allowing the dissolved carbon to nucleate and grow on top of the melt at a lower temperature. The examined metals for the metal-carbon melt included copper and nickel. For the latter, the high-quality single layer graphene was grown successfully. The resulting graphene layers were subjected to detailed microscopic and Raman spectroscopic characterization. The deconvolution of the Raman 2D band was used to accurately determine the number of atomic planes in the resulting graphene layers and access their quality. The results indicate that our technology can provide bulk graphite films, few-layer graphene as well as high-quality single layer graphene on metals. Our approach can also be used for producing graphene-metal thermal interface materials for thermal management applications. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.

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