Structural Distortions in Few-Layer Graphene Creases

Alex W. Robertson†, Alicja Bachmatiuk‡, Yimin A. Wu†, Franziska Schäffel†, Bernd Büchner‡, Mark H. Rümmeli‡§, and Jamie H. Warner†*

† Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PH, United Kingdom ‡ IFW Dresden, P.O. Box 270116, D-01171 Dresden, Germany § Technische Universität Dresden, D-01062 Dresden, Germany

ACS Nano, 2011, 5 (12), pp 9984–9991

Folds and creases are frequently found in graphene grown by chemical vapor deposition (CVD), due to the differing thermal expansion coefficients of graphene from the growth catalyst and the flexibility of the sheet during transfer from the catalyst. The structure of a few-layer graphene (FLG) crease is examined by aberration-corrected high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (AC-HRTEM). A study of 2D fast Fourier transforms (FFTs) taken about the region of the crease allowed for the crystal stacking structure of the system to be elucidated. It was found that strain-induced stacking faults were created in the AB Bernal-stacked FLG bulk around the region proximal to the crease termination; this is of interest as the stacking order of FLG is known to have an effect on its electronic properties and thus should be considered when transferring CVD-grown FLG to alternate substrates for electronic device fabrication. The FFTs, along with analysis of the real space images, were used to determine the configuration of the layers in the crease itself and were corroborated by multislice atomistic TEM simulations. The termination of the crease part way through the FLG sheet is also examined and is found to show strong out of plane distortions in the area about it.