Semitransparent graphite films growth on Ni and their double-sided polymer-free transfer

Illustration produced by Xavier Pita, KAUST.

G. Deokar, et al.,“Semitransparent graphite films growth on Ni and their double-sided polymer-free transfer”, accepted, Nature Scientific reports, 2020

Nanorange thickness graphite films (NGFs) are robust nanomaterials that can be produced via catalytic chemical vapour deposition but questions remain regarding their facile transfer and how surface topography may affect their application in next-generation devices. Here, we report the growth of NGFs (with an area of 55 cm2 and thickness of ~ 100 nm) on both sides of a polycrystalline Ni foil and their polymer-free transfer (front- and back-side, in areas up to 6 cm2). Due to the catalyst foil topography, the two carbon films differed in physical properties and other characteristics such as surface roughness. We demonstrate that the coarser back-side NGF is well-suited for NO2 sensing, whereas the smoother and more electrically conductive front-side NGF (2000 S/cm, sheet resistance − 50 Ω/sq) could be a viable conducting channel or counter electrode in solar cells (as it transmits 62% of visible light). Overall, the growth and transfer processes described could help realizing NGFs as an alternative carbon material for those technological applications where graphene and micrometer-thick graphite films are not an option.