Low-energy transmission electron diffraction and imaging of large-area graphene

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Science Advances  01 Sep 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 9, e1603231
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1603231

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Two-dimensional (2D) materials have attracted interest because of their excellent properties and potential applications. A key step in realizing industrial applications is to synthesize wafer-scale single-crystal samples. Until now, single-crystal samples, such as graphene domains up to the centimeter scale, have been synthesized. However, a new challenge is to efficiently characterize large-area samples. Currently, the crystalline characterization of these samples still relies on selected-area electron diffraction (SAED) or low-energy electron diffraction (LEED), which is more suitable for characterizing very small local regions. This paper presents a highly efficient characterization technique that adopts a low-energy electrostatically focused electron gun and a super-aligned carbon nanotube (SACNT) film sample support. It allows rapid crystalline characterization of large-area graphene through a single photograph of a transmission-diffracted image at a large beam size. Additionally, the low-energy electron beam enables the observation of a unique diffraction pattern of adsorbates on the suspended graphene at room temperature. This work presents a simple and convenient method for characterizing the macroscopic structures of 2D materials, and the instrument we constructed allows the study of the weak interaction with 2D materials.

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