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Report No.

Contracted interlayer distance in graphene/sapphire heterostructure

Entani, Shiro; Antipina, L. Y.*; Avramov, P.*; Otomo, Manabu*; Matsumoto, Yoshihiro*; Hirao, Norie; Shimoyama, Iwao  ; Naramoto, Hiroshi*; Baba, Yuji ; Sorokin, P. B.*; Sakai, Seiji

Direct growth of graphene on insulators is expected to yield significant improvements in performance of graphene-based electronic and spintronic devices. In this study, we successfully reveal atomic arrangement and electronic properties of the coherent heterostructure of single-layer graphene and $$alpha$$-Al$$_{2}$$O$$_{3}$$(0001). In the atomic arrangement analysis of single-layer graphene on $$alpha$$-Al$$_{2}$$O$$_{3}$$(0001), we observed apparently contradicting results. The in-plane analysis shows that single-layer graphene grows not in the single-crystalline epitaxial manner but in the polycrystalline form with two strongly pronounced preferred orientations. This suggests the relatively weak interfacial interactions to be operative. But, we demonstrate that there exists unusually strong physical interactions between graphene and $$alpha$$-Al$$_{2}$$O$$_{3}$$(0001), as evidenced by the short vertical distance between graphene and $$alpha$$-Al$$_{2}$$O$$_{3}$$(0001) surface. The interfacial interactions are shown to be dominated by the electrostatic force involved in the graphene $$pi$$-system and the unsaturated electrons of the topmost O layer of $$alpha$$-Al$$_{2}$$O$$_{3}$$(0001) rather than the van der Waals interactions. Such feature causes hole doping into graphene, which gives graphene a chance to slide on the $$alpha$$-Al$$_{2}$$O$$_{3}$$(0001) surface with a small energy barrier despite the strong interfacial interactions.



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Category:Chemistry, Physical



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