Carbon-dot doped, transfer-free, low-temperature, high mobility graphene using microwave plasma CVD†
Microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition is a well-known method for low-temperature, large-area direct graphene growth on any insulating substrate without any catalysts. However, the quality has not been significantly better than other graphene synthesis methods such as thermal chemical vapor deposition, thermal decomposition of SiC, etc. Moreover, the higher carrier mobility in directly grown graphene is much desired for industrial applications. Here, we report chemical doping of graphene (grown on silicon using microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition) with carbon dots to increase the mobility to a range of 363–398 cm2 V−1 s−1 (1 × 1 cm van der Pauw devices were fabricated) stable for more than 30 days under normal atmospheric conditions, which is sufficiently high for a catalyst-free, low-temperature, directly grown graphene. The sheet resistance of the graphene was 430 Ω □−1 post-doping. The novelty of this work is in the use of carbon dots for the metal-free doping of graphene. To understand the doping mechanism, the carbon dots were mixed with various solvents and spin coated on graphene with simultaneous exposure to a laser. The significant information observed was that the electron or hole transfer to graphene depends upon the functional group attached to the carbon dot surface. Carbon dots were synthesized using the simple hydrothermal method and characterized with transmission electron microscopy revealing carbon dots in the range of 5–10 nm diameter. Doped graphene samples were further analyzed using Raman microscopy and Hall effect measurements for their electronic properties. This work can open an opportunity for growing graphene directly on silicon substrates with improved mobility using microwave plasma CVD for various electronic applications.