Epitaxial graphene on silicon carbide: low-vacuum growth, characterization, and device fabrication
Sprinkle, Michael W.
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In the past several years, epitaxial graphene on silicon carbide has been transformed from an academic curiosity of social scientists to a leading candidate material to replace silicon in post-CMOS electronics. This has come with rapid development of growth technologies, improved understanding of epitaxial graphene on the polar faces of silicon carbide, and new device fabrication techniques. The contributions of this thesis include refinement and improved understanding of graphene growth on the silicon- and carbon-faces in the context of managed local silicon partial pressure, high-throughput epitaxial graphene thickness measurement and uniformity characterization by ellipsometry, observations of nearly ideal graphene band structures on rotationally stacked carbon-face multilayer epitaxial graphene, presentation of initial experiments on localized in situ chemical modification of epitaxial graphene for an alternate path to semiconducting behavior, and novel device fabrication methods to exploit the crystal structure of the silicon carbide substrate. The latter is a particularly exciting foray into three dimensional patterning of the substrate that may eliminate the critical problem of edge roughness in graphene nanoribbons.