Large area buffer-free graphene on non-polar (001) cubic silicon carbide
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Graphene is, due to its extraordinary properties, a promising material for future electronic applications. A common process for the production of large area epitaxial graphene is a high temperature annealing process of atomically flat surfaces from hexagonal silicon carbide. This procedure is very promising but has the drawback of the formation of a buffer layer consisting of a graphene-like sheet, which is covalently bound to the substrate. This buffer layer degenerates the properties of the graphene above and needs to be avoided. We are presenting the combination of a high temperature process for the graphene production with a newly developed substrate of (0 0 1)-oriented cubic silicon carbide. This combination is a promising candidate to be able to supply large area homogenous epitaxial graphene on silicon carbide without a buffer layer. We are presenting the new substrate and first samples of epitaxial graphene on them. Results are shown using low energy electron microscopy and diffraction, photoelectron angular distribution and X-ray photoemission spectroscopy. All these measurements indicate the successful growth of a buffer free few layer graphene on a cubic silicon carbide surface. On our large area samples also the epitaxial relationship between the cubic substrate and the hexagonal graphene could be clarified. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.