Elimination of step bunching in the growth of large-area monolayer and multilayer graphene on off-axis 3C–SiC (111)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Multilayer graphene has exhibited distinct electronic properties such as the tunable bandgap for optoelectronic applications. Among all graphene growth techniques, thermal decomposition of SiC is regarded as a promising method for production of device-quality graphene. However, it is still very challenging to grow uniform graphene over a large-area, especially multilayer graphene. One of the main obstacles is the occurrence of step bunching on the SiC surface, which significantly influences the formation process and the uniformity of the multilayer graphene. In this work, we have systematically studied the growth of monolayer and multilayer graphene on off-axis 3C–SiC(111). Taking advantage of the synergistic effect of periodic SiC step edges as graphene nucleation sites and the unique thermal decomposition energy of 3C–SiC steps, we demonstrate that the step bunching can be fully eliminated during graphene growth and large-area monolayer, bilayer, and four-layer graphene can be controllably obtained on high-quality off-axis 3C–SiC(111) surface. The low energy electron microscopy results demonstrate that a uniform four-layer graphene has been grown over areas of tens of square micrometers, which opens the possibility to tune the bandgap for optoelectronic devices. Furthermore, a model for graphene growth along with the step bunching elimination is proposed.


  • Yuchen Shi
  • Alexei A. Zakharov
  • Ivan G. Ivanov
  • G. Reza Yazdi
  • Valdas Jokubavicius
  • Mikael Syväjärvi
  • Rositsa Yakimova
  • Jianwu Sun
External organisations
  • Linköping University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Materials Engineering
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-542
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1
Publication categoryResearch