Microwave plasmas applied for the synthesis of free standing graphene sheets
Botelho do Rego, A.M.
Luhrs, Claudia C.
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Self-standing graphene sheets were synthesized using microwave plasmas driven by surface waves at 2.45 GHz stimulating frequency and atmospheric pressure. The method is based on injecting ethanol molecules through a microwave argon plasma environment, where decomposition of ethanol molecules takes place. The evolution of the ethanol decomposition was studied in situ by plasma emission spectroscopy. Free gas-phase carbon atoms created in the plasma diffuse into colder zones, both in radial and axial directions, and aggregate into solid carbon nuclei. The main part of the solid carbon is gradually withdrawn from the hot region of the plasma in the outlet plasma stream where nanostructures assemble and grow. Externally forced heating in the assembly zone of the plasma reactor has been applied to engineer the structural qualities of the assembled nanostructures. The synthesized graphene sheets have been analysed by Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The presence of sp3 carbons is reduced by increasing the gas temperature in the assembly zone of the plasma reactor. As a general trend, the number of mono-layers decreases when the wall temperature increases from 60 to 100 ◦C. The synthesized graphene sheets are stable and highly ordered.
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0022-3727/47/38/385501
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