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High-throughput solution processing of large-scale graphene

Abstract

The electronic properties of graphene, such as high charge carrier concentrations and mobilities, make it a promising candidate for next-generation nanoelectronic devices1,2,3. In particular, electrons and holes can undergo ballistic transport on the sub-micrometre scale in graphene and do not suffer from the scale limitations of current MOSFET technologies2,3. However, it is still difficult to produce single-layer samples of graphene1,3 and bulk processing has not yet been achieved, despite strenuous efforts to develop a scalable production method4,5. Here, we report a versatile solution-based process for the large-scale production of single-layer chemically converted graphene over the entire area of a silicon/SiO2 wafer. By dispersing graphite oxide paper in pure hydrazine we were able to remove oxygen functionalities and restore the planar geometry of the single sheets. The chemically converted graphene sheets that were produced have the largest area reported to date (up to 20 × 40 µm), making them far easier to process. Field-effect devices have been fabricated by conventional photolithography, displaying currents that are three orders of magnitude higher than previously reported for chemically produced graphene6. The size of these sheets enables a wide range of characterization techniques, including optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy, to be performed on the same specimen.

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Figure 1: Chemically converted graphene suspensions.
Figure 2: SEM image of a large, single, chemically converted graphene sheet.
Figure 3: Images of an individual chemically converted graphene sheet.
Figure 4: Arrays of working, chemically converted graphene transistors.
Figure 5: Electrical characteristics of a chemically converted graphene field-effect transistor.

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Acknowledgements

This work has been partially supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF; DMR-0507294), the NSF-IGERT programme (M.J.A.) and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA95500710264; V.C.T.). The authors also thank: L. Gomez, A. Steig, G. Yang and R. Chen for their expertise with instrumentation; UCLA CNSI Pico Lab for imaging; S. Gilje for his pioneering efforts at UCLA with graphite oxide; and W. Hou and P. Li for many fruitful discussions.

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V.C.T. and M.J.A. conceived and performed the experiments and measurements. Y.Y. and R.B.K. conceptualized and directed the research project. All authors discussed the results and contributed to the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Yang Yang or Richard B. Kaner.

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Tung, V., Allen, M., Yang, Y. et al. High-throughput solution processing of large-scale graphene. Nature Nanotech 4, 25–29 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2008.329

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2008.329

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