Graphene-mediated stabilization of surface facets on metal substrates

Ganesh Ananthakrishnan, Mitisha Surana, Matthew Poss, Jad Jean Yaacoub, Kaihao Zhang, Nikhil Admal, Pascal Pochet, Sameh Tawfick, Harley T. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


After Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD), faceted structures are routinely observed on a variety of metal catalyst surfaces in the graphene-covered regions. In spite of having its bare surface flattened through high diffusivity and surface pre-melting at high temperatures, the graphene-covered copper surface still presents faceted structures. Using atomistic simulations, we show the role of graphene in the preservation of the faceted surface morphology at the graphene-copper interface, manifesting as a suppressant against surface melting and surface-specific diffusion. The results of our molecular dynamics simulations are consistent with our experimental observations and demonstrate the thermo-mechanical interfacial surface stabilization role of graphene. Our study provides an understanding applicable to most metal-graphene interfaces and is especially relevant to most metallic catalysts for graphene growth by CVD. Understanding the interaction between graphene and the catalyst surface structure is critical for producing ultra-flat and defect-free graphene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number165302
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Oct 28 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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