PITA Fiscal Year 2009 Projects - Product and Process Design and Optimization

Graphene Formation and Device Fabrication on Silicon Carbide

Principal Investigators: Randall Feenstra, David Ricketts, David Greve

Graphene (one or more monolayers of graphite) has unique electrical properties that make it suitable for high-speed electronic devices. Graphene is available primarily in two forms: isolated layers mechanically separated from graphite (and supported on an inert substrate such as SiO2), or epitaxial layers formed on a crystalline substrate such as silicon carbide. The former method yields only small 100 μm size flakes, whereas the epitaxial method promises to yield wafer-size layers suitable for device and circuit fabrication. We have produced epitaxial graphene on SiC using high-temperature annealing in vacuum. Our apparatus is limited to sample sizes of 1 cm x 1 cm currently, although through collaboration with IBM Research we are scaling the process up to 2 inch wafers and beyond. Electrical measurements and device fabrication on our material has thus far been carried out by several out-of-state groups. The goal of this proposal is to initiate device and circuit fabrication work at Carnegie Mellon University using the Nanofabrication facility. Electrical measurements will be performed on the field-effect transistors, thus providing feedback on our graphene materials quality and permitting optimization of the graphene growth. It is anticipated that this project will serve as a springboard for future funded research in graphene nanoelectronics at Carnegie Mellon.