Characteristic Work Function Variations of Graphene Line Defects

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© 2016 American Chemical Society. Line defects, including grain boundaries and wrinkles, are commonly seen in graphene grown by chemical vapor deposition. These one-dimensional defects are believed to alter the electrical and mechanical properties of graphene. Unfortunately, it is very tedious to directly distinguish grain boundaries from wrinkles due to their similar morphologies. In this report, high-resolution Kelvin potential force microscopy (KPFM) is employed to measure the work function distribution of graphene line defects. The characteristic work function variations of grain boundaries, standing-collapsed wrinkles, and folded wrinkles could be clearly identified. Classical and quantum molecular dynamics simulations reveal that the unique work function distribution of each type of line defects is originated from the doping effect induced by the SiO2 substrate. Our results suggest that KPFM can be an easy-to-use and accurate method to detect graphene line defects, and also propose the possibility to tune the graphene work function by defect engineering.

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ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces