Characterization of selective epitaxial graphene growth on silicon carbide: limitations and opportunities
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The need for post-CMOS nanoelectronics has led to the investigation of innovative device structures and materials. Graphene, a zero bandgap semiconductor with ballistic transport properties, has great potential to extend diversification and miniaturization beyond the limits of CMOS. The goal of this work is to study the growth of graphene on SiC using the novel method of selective graphitization. The major contributions of this research are as follows - First, epitaxial graphene is successfully grown on selected regions of SiC not capped by AlN deposited by molecular beam epitaxy. This contribution enables the formation of electronic-grade graphene in desired patterns without having to etch the graphene or expose it to any detrimental contact with external chemicals. Etching of AlN opens up windows to the SiC in desirable patterns for subsequent graphitization without leaving etch-residues (determined by XPS). Second, the impact of process parameters on the growth of graphene is investigated. Temperature, time, and argon pressure are the primary growth-conditions altered. A temperature of 1400oC in 1 mbar argon for 20 min produced the most optimal graphene growth without significant damage to the AlN capping-layer. Third, first-ever electronic transport measurements are achieved on the selective epitaxial graphene. Hall mobility of about 1550 cm2/Vs has been obtained to date. Finally, the critical limitations of the selective epitaxial graphene growth are enumerated. The advent of enhanced processing techniques that will overcome these limitations will create a multitude of opportunities for applications for graphene grown in this manner. It is envisaged to be a viable approach to fabrication of radio-frequency field-effect transistors.