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From the same journal

Formation of quasi-free-standing graphene on SiC(0001) through intercalation of erbium

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Publication details

JournalRSC Advances
DateAccepted/In press - 5 Jan 2021
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 8 Feb 2021
Number of pages6
Early online date8/02/21
Original languageEnglish


Activation of the carbon buffer layer on 4H- and 6H-SiC substrates using elements with high magnetic moments may lead to novel graphene/SiC-based spintronic devices. In this work, we use a variety of surface analysis techniques to explore the intercalation of Er underneath the buffer layer showing evidence for the associated formation of quasi-free-standing graphene (QFSG). A combined analysis of low energy electron diffraction (LEED), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray and ultraviolet photoemission spectroscopy (XPS and UPS), and metastable de-excitation spectroscopy (MDS) data reveals that annealing at temperatures up to 1073 K leads to deposited Er clustering at the surface. The data suggest that intercalation of Er occurs at 1273 K leading to the breaking of back-bonds between the carbon buffer layer and the underlying SiC substrate and the formation of QFSG. Further annealing at 1473 K does not lead to the desorption of Er atoms but does result in further graphitization of the surface.

Bibliographical note

© 2021 Author(s).

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