Researchers from Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory demonstrating the first growth of graphene on a single-crystal silver substrate. This method could be used to advance graphene-based optical devices (as silver is a widely used material to enhance optical properties) and enable the interfacing of graphene with other two-dimensional materials.
Silver substrates are chemically inert and have a relatively low melting point, which means it is difficult to use CVD technologies. The researchers used a graphite carbon source and deposited atomic carbon (rather than a carbon-based molecular precursor) onto the silver substrate. This allowed them to use low temperature and this process does not need a chemically active surface.
The researcher say that their process resulted in atomically pristine surface. They also found that the graphene they grew was electronically decoupled from the underlying silver substrate, allowing the intrinsic properties of graphene to be studied and exploited directly on the substrate.