Structural and Electronic Decoupling of C60from Epitaxial Graphene on SiC

Cho, Jongweon, Smerdon, Joe orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7387-8362, Gao, Li, Süzer, Özgün, Guest, Jeffrey R. and Guisinger, Nathan P. (2012) Structural and Electronic Decoupling of C60from Epitaxial Graphene on SiC. Nano Letters, 12 (6). pp. 3018-3024. ISSN 1530-6984

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We have investigated the initial stages of growth and the electronic structure of C 60 molecules on graphene grown epitaxially on SiC(0001) at the single-molecule level using cryogenic ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy. We observe that the first layer of C 60 molecules self-assembles into a well-ordered, close-packed arrangement on graphene upon molecular deposition at room temperature while exhibiting a subtle C 60 superlattice. We measure a highest occupied molecular orbital-lowest unoccupied molecular orbital gap of ∼3.5 eV for the C 60 molecules on graphene in submonolayer regime, indicating a significantly smaller amount of charge transfer from the graphene to C 60 and substrate-induced screening as compared to C 60 adsorbed on metallic substrates. Our results have important implications for the use of graphene for future device applications that require electronic decoupling between functional molecular adsorbates and substrates. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

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