The process of thermal graphitization of silicon carbide wafers, assisted by the flux of Si atoms, used by BeeGraphene, delivers a high-purity and quality product (see Our technology). In addition to producing graphene for science and industry, we are also focused on the continuous development.
One of our activities is focused on developing wafer-scale processes of graphene intercalation, initially with hydrogen, and eventually with other types of atoms.
Regardless of the growth method, graphene on the surface of SiC is electronically influenced by the substrate, resulting in a weak, electrostatic, n-type doping. During graphitization of the surface of silicon carbide, a carbon buffer layer is created beneath graphene, allowing it to behave like an electronically semi-isolated sheet.
The question which arises is whether the graphene layer could be completely electronically decoupled from the SiC substrate.
The solution is provided by the intercalation process, which will initially be performed using hydrogen. Hydrogen atoms are able to penetrate through the graphene layer, as well as through the carbon buffer layer and bond to the Si atoms in silicon carbide forming a new surface phase. Hydrogen intercalation results in the fully electronically decoupled graphene on the surface of SiC. Planned development of the intercalation process with other atoms (especially transition metals) will enable future discoveries of new, exotic properties of graphene and fine-tuning its electronic properties to suit the desired applications.