Investigation of CVD graphene as-grown on Cu foil using simultaneous scanning tunneling/atomic force microscopy

Jadidi M. F. , Kamber U., Gürlü O. , Ozer H. O.

BEILSTEIN JOURNAL OF NANOTECHNOLOGY, vol.9, pp.2953-2959, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.3762/bjnano.9.274
  • Page Numbers: pp.2953-2959


Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) images of graphene reveal either a triangular or honeycomb pattern at the atomic scale depending on the imaging parameters. The triangular patterns at the atomic scale are particularly difficult to interpret, as the maxima in the images could be every other carbon atom in the six-fold hexagonal array or even a hollow site. Carbon sites exhibit an inequivalent electronic structure in HOPG or multilayer graphene due to the presence of a carbon atom or a hollow site underneath. In this work, we report small-amplitude, simultaneous STM/AFM imaging using a metallic (tungsten) tip, of the graphene surface as-grown by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) on Cu foils. Truly simultaneous operation is possible only with the use of small oscillation amplitudes. Under a typical STM imaging regime the force interaction is found to be repulsive. Force-distance spectroscopy revealed a maximum attractive force of about 7 nN between the tip and carbon/hollow sites. We obtained different contrast between force and STM topography images for atomic features. A honeycomb pattern showing all six carbon atoms is revealed in AFM images. In one contrast type, simultaneously acquired STM topography revealed hollow sites to be brighter. In another, a triangular array with maxima located in between the two carbon atoms was acquired in STM topography.