Towards super-clean graphene

Li Lin, Jincan Zhang, Haisheng Su, Jiayu Li, Luzhao Sun, Zihao Wang, Fan Xu, Chang Liu, Sergei Lopatin, Yihan Zhu, Kaicheng Jia, Shulin Chen, Dingran Rui, Jingyu Sun, Ruiwen Xue, Peng Gao, Ning Kang, Yu Han, H. Q. Xu, Yang CaoK. S. Novoselov, Zhongqun Tian, Bin Ren, Hailin Peng, Zhongfan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


Impurities produced during the synthesis process of a material pose detrimental impacts upon the intrinsic properties and device performances of the as-obtained product. This effect is especially pronounced in graphene, where surface contamination has long been a critical, unresolved issue, given graphene’s two-dimensionality. Here we report the origins of surface contamination of graphene, which is primarily rooted in chemical vapour deposition production at elevated temperatures, rather than during transfer and storage. In turn, we demonstrate a design of Cu substrate architecture towards the scalable production of super-clean graphene (>99% clean regions). The readily available, super-clean graphene sheets contribute to an enhancement in the optical transparency and thermal conductivity, an exceptionally lower-level of electrical contact resistance and intrinsically hydrophilic nature. This work not only opens up frontiers for graphene growth but also provides exciting opportunities for the utilization of as-obtained super-clean graphene films for advanced applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 23 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We thank Prof. Lutao Weng in Hong Kong University of Science and Technology for his help in TOF-SIMS. This work was financially supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (Nos. 2016YFA0200101, 2013CB932603 and 2014CB932500), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51432002, 51520105003, 21525310 and 51362029), and Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission (Nos. Z161100002116002 and Z161100002116021), and Suzhou Key Laboratory for Advanced Carbon Materials and Wearable Energy Technologies, Suzhou 215006, China.


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