In Situ Graphene Growth Dynamics on Polycrystalline Catalyst Foils

Robert S. Weatherup, Ashwin J. Shahani, Zhu-Jun Wang, Ken Mingard, Andrew J. Pollard, Marc-Georg Willinger, Robert Schloegl, Peter W. Voorhees, Stephan Hofmann

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The dynamics of graphene growth on polycrystalline Pt foils during chemical vapor deposition (CVD) are investigated using in situ scanning electron microscopy and complementary structural characterization of the catalyst with electron backscatter diffraction. A general growth model is outlined that considers precursor dissociation, mass transport, and attachment to the edge of a growing domain. We thereby analyze graphene growth dynamics at different length scales and reveal that the rate-limiting step varies throughout the process and across different regions of the catalyst surface, including different facets of an individual graphene domain. The facets that define the domain shapes lie normal to slow growth directions, which are determined by the interfacial mobility when attachment to domain edges is rate-limiting, as well as anisotropy in surface diffusion as diffusion becomes rate-limiting. Our observations and analysis thus reveal that the structure of CVD graphene films is intimately linked to that of the underlying polycrystalline catalyst, with both interfacial mobility and diffusional anisotropy depending on the presence of step edges and grain boundaries. The growth model developed serves as a general framework for understanding and optimizing the growth of 2D materials on polycrystalline catalysts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6196-6206
    JournalNano Letters
    Issue number10
    Early online date30 Aug 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2016


    • Graphene
    • platinum
    • chemical vapor deposition
    • growth dynamics
    • modeling
    • domain shape


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