Letter | Published:

Growth of graphene from solid carbon sources

Nature volume 468, pages 549552 (25 November 2010) | Download Citation

  • A Corrigendum to this article was published on 02 March 2011


Monolayer graphene was first obtained1 as a transferable material in 2004 and has stimulated intense activity among physicists, chemists and material scientists1,2,3,4. Much research has been focused on developing routes for obtaining large sheets of monolayer or bilayer graphene. This has been recently achieved by chemical vapour deposition (CVD) of CH4 or C2H2 gases on copper or nickel substrates5,6,7. But CVD is limited to the use of gaseous raw materials, making it difficult to apply the technology to a wider variety of potential feedstocks. Here we demonstrate that large area, high-quality graphene with controllable thickness can be grown from different solid carbon sources—such as polymer films or small molecules—deposited on a metal catalyst substrate at temperatures as low as 800 °C. Both pristine graphene and doped graphene were grown with this one-step process using the same experimental set-up.

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This work was funded by the AFOSR (FA9550-09-1-0581) and the ONR MURI graphene programme (00006766).

Author information


  1. Department of Chemistry, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, USA

    • Zhengzong Sun
    • , Zheng Yan
    • , Elvira Beitler
    • , Yu Zhu
    •  & James M. Tour
  2. Applied Physics Program, Department of Bioengineering, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, USA

    • Jun Yao
  3. Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, USA

    • James M. Tour


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Z.S. designed the experiments, discovered the procedures for graphene growth, performed the spectroscopic characterizations and analysis and wrote the manuscript. Z.Y. optimized the growth conditions and contributed to the spectroscopic characterizations. J.Y. performed the electrical measurements and analysis. E.B. contributed to the electrical measurements and analysis. Y.Z. carried out the sheet resistance and transmittance measurements. J.M.T oversaw all research phases and revised the manuscript. All authors discussed and commented on the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to James M. Tour.

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    Supplementary Information

    The file contains Supplementary Materials and Methods, Supplementary Figures 1-7 with legends and additional references.

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