Atomic scale properties of epitaxial graphene grown on sic(0001)
Rutter, Gregory Michael
MetadataShow full item record
Graphene, a honeycomb lattice of sp2-bonded carbon atoms, has received considerable attention in the scientific community due to its unique electronic properties. Distinct symmetries of the graphene wave functions lead to unusual quantum properties, such as a unique half-integer quantum Hall effect. As an added consequence of these symmetries, back-scattering in graphene is strongly prohibited leading to long coherence lengths of carriers. These charge carriers at low energy exhibit linear energy-momentum dispersion, much like neutrinos. Thus, carriers in graphene can be described as massless Dirac fermions. Graphene grown epitaxially on semiconducting substrates offers the possibility of large-scale production and deterministic patterning of graphene for nanoelectronics. In this work, epitaxial graphene is created on SiC(0001) by annealing in vacuum. Sequential scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and spectroscopy (STS) are performed in ultrahigh vacuum at a temperature of 4.2 K and 300 K. These atomic-scale studies address the growth, interfacial properties, stacking order, and quasiparticle coherence in epitaxial graphene. STM topographic images show the atomic structure of successive graphene layers on the SiC substrate, as well as the character of defects and adatoms within and below the graphene plane. STS differential conductance (dI/dV) maps provide spatially and energy resolved snapshots of the local density of states. Such maps clearly show that scattering from atomic defects in graphene gives rise to energy-dependent standing wave patterns. We derive the carrier energy dispersion of epitaxial graphene from these data sets by quantifying the dominant wave vectors of the standing waves for each tunneling bias.