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Epitaxial growth of single-domain graphene on hexagonal boron nitride

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Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) has recently emerged as an excellent substrate for graphene nanodevices, owing to its atomically flat surface and its potential to engineer graphene’s electronic structure1,2. Thus far, graphene/h-BN heterostructures have been obtained only through a transfer process1, which introduces structural uncertainties due to the random stacking between graphene and h-BN substrate2,3. Here we report the epitaxial growth of single-domain graphene on h-BN by a plasma-assisted deposition method. Large-area graphene single crystals were successfully grown for the first time on h-BN with a fixed stacking orientation. A two-dimensional (2D) superlattice of trigonal moiré pattern was observed on graphene by atomic force microscopy. Extra sets of Dirac points are produced as a result of the trigonal superlattice potential and the quantum Hall effect is observed with the 2D-superlattice-related feature developed in the fan diagram of longitudinal and Hall resistance, and the Dirac fermion physics near the original Dirac point is unperturbed. The macroscopic epitaxial graphene is in principle limited only by the size of the h-BN substrate and our synthesis method is potentially applicable on other flat surfaces. Our growth approach could thus open new ways of graphene band engineering through epitaxy on different substrates.

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Figure 1: Epitaxial graphene growth.
Figure 2: Moiré pattern of epitaxial graphene.
Figure 3: Transport measurements and band structure of graphene superlattice.
Figure 4: QHE of MLG and BLG superlattices.
Figure 5: QHE fan diagram of MLG superlattice.

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  • 26 July 2013

    In the version of this Letter originally published online, the year of the received date should have read '2012'. In Fig. 5, the numbers 10, 20, 8.5 and 17 on the colour scale bars should not have been followed by 'k'. These errors have been corrected in all versions of the Letter.


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The authors would like to thank H. Dai and F. Wang and Y. Yu for helpful discussions. G.Z. acknowledges supports from the 973 Program (2013CB934500 and 2012CB921302), the NSFC (91223204), and the ‘100 talents project’ of CAS. Y.Z. acknowledges supports from the 973 Program (2011CB921802) and NSFC (11034001). Y.Y. acknowledges supports from 973 Program (2011CBA00100) and NSFC (10974231, 11174337 and 11225418).

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Authors and Affiliations



G.Z. and Y.Z. designed the research; W.Y. performed the growth, structural characterization, device fabrication and electrical transport measurements; Z.S. helped with QHE measurements; G.C provided the h-BN substrates and helped with QHE measurements; K.W. and T.T. synthesized h-BN crystals; and C-C.L. carried out the band structure calculations. W.Y., G.C., Z.S., R.Y., D.S., Y.Y., Y.Z and G.Z. analysed data; W.Y., G.C., Y.Z. and G.Z. wrote, and all authors commented on, the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Guangyu Zhang.

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Yang, W., Chen, G., Shi, Z. et al. Epitaxial growth of single-domain graphene on hexagonal boron nitride. Nature Mater 12, 792–797 (2013).

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