Charge transport in polycrystalline graphene: Challenges and opportunities

Aron W. Cummings, Dinh Loc Duong, Van Luan Nguyen, Dinh Van Tuan, Jani Kotakoski, Jose Eduardo Barrios Vargas, Young Hee Lee, Stephan Roche

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    144 Citations (Scopus)


    Graphene has attracted significant interest both for exploring fundamental science and for a wide range of technological applications. Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is currently the only working approach to grow graphene at wafer scale, which is required for industrial applications. Unfortunately, CVD graphene is intrinsically polycrystalline, with pristine graphene grains stitched together by disordered grain boundaries, which can be either a blessing or a curse. On the one hand, grain boundaries are expected to degrade the electrical and mechanical properties of polycrystalline graphene, rendering the material undesirable for many applications. On the other hand, they exhibit an increased chemical reactivity, suggesting their potential application to sensing or as templates for synthesis of one-dimensional materials. Therefore, it is important to gain a deeper understanding of the structure and properties of graphene grain boundaries. Here, we review experimental progress on identification and electrical and chemical characterization of graphene grain boundaries. We use numerical simulations and transport measurements to demonstrate that electrical properties and chemical modification of graphene grain boundaries are strongly correlated. This not only provides guidelines for the improvement of graphene devices, but also opens a new research area of engineering graphene grain boundaries for highly sensitive electro-biochemical devices. By controlling the structures, distribution, and chemical functionalization of grain boundaries of graphene at the nanoscale, one can envision disruptive technologies and novel fields of research. In this review, we present fascinating opportunities offered by this versatile material, together with a description of its essential structural and electronic features. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5079-5094
    JournalAdvanced Materials
    Issue number30
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2014


    • charge transport
    • functionalization
    • grain boundaries
    • graphene
    • scaling law


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