A growth mechanism for free-standing vertical graphene

Jiong Zhao, Mehrdad Shaygan, Jürgen Eckert, M. Meyyappan, Mark H. Rümmeli

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

208 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a detailed mechanism for the growth of vertical graphene by plasma-enhanced vapor deposition. Different steps during growth including nucleation, growth, and completion of the free-standing two-dimensional structures are characterized and analyzed by transmission electron microscopy. The nucleation of vertical graphene growth is either from the buffer layer or from the surface of carbon onions. A continuum model based on the surface diffusion and moving boundary (mass flow) is developed to describe the intermediate states of the steps and the edges of graphene. The experimentally observed convergence tendency of the steps near the top edge can be explained by this model. We also observed the closure of the top edges that can possibly stop the growth. This two-dimensional vertical growth follows a self-nucleated, step-flow mode, explained for the first time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3064-3071
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • edge closure
  • nucleation
  • step-flow
  • Vertical graphene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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