Category Archives: Publications

Evidences for pressure-induced two-phase superconductivity and mixed structures of NiTe2 and NiTe in type-II Dirac semimetal NiTe2-x (x = 0.38 ± 0.09) single crystals

Bulk NiTe2 is a type-II Dirac semimetal with non-trivial Berry phases associated with the Dirac fermions. Theory suggests that monolayer NiTe2 is a two-gap superconductor, whereas experimental investigation of bulk NiTe1.98 for pressures (P) up to 71.2 GPa do not reveal any superconductivity. Here we report experimental evidences for pressure-induced two-phase superconductivity as well as mixed structures of NiTe2 and NiTe in Te-deficient NiTe2-x (x = 0.38 ± 0.09) single crystals. Hole-dominant multi-band superconductivity with the P3¯m1 hexagonal-symmetry structure of NiTe2 appears at P ≥ 0.5 GPa, whereas electron-dominant single-band superconductivity with the P2/m monoclinic-symmetry structure of NiTe emerges at 14.5 GPa < P < 18.4 GPa. The coexistence of hexagonal and monoclinic structures and two-phase superconductivity is accompanied by a zero Hall coefficient up to ∼ 40 GPa, and the second superconducting phase prevails above 40 GPa, reaching a maximum Tc = 7.8 K and persisting up to 52.8 GPa. Our findings suggest the critical role of Te-vacancies in the occurrence of superconductivity and potentially nontrivial topological properties in NiTe2-x.

Single-Step Direct Growth of Graphene on Cu Ink towards Flexible Hybrid Electronic Applications by Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition

Highly customized and free-formed products in flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) require direct
pattern creation such as inkjet printing (IJP) to accelerate the product development. In this work,
we demonstrate direct growth of graphene on Cu ink deposited on polyimide (PI) by means of
plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD), which provides simultaneous reduction,
sintering and passivation of the Cu ink and further reduces its resistivity. We investigate the
PECVD growth conditions for optimizing the graphene quality on Cu ink, and find that the defect
characteristics of graphene are sensitive to the H2/CH4 ratio at higher total gas pressure during the
growth. The morphology of Cu ink after the PECVD process and the dependence of graphene
quality on the H2/CH4 ratio may be attributed to the difference in the corresponding electron
temperature. This study therefore paves a new pathway towards efficient growth of high-quality
graphene on Cu ink for applications to flexible electronics and Internet of Things (IoT).

Direct large-area growth of graphene on silicon for potential ultra-low-friction applications and silicon-based technologies

Deposition of layers of graphene on silicon has the potential for a wide range of optoelectronic and mechanical applications. However, direct growth of graphene on silicon has been difficult due to the inert, oxidized silicon surfaces. Transferring graphene from metallic growth substrates to silicon is not a good solution either, because most transfer methods involve multiple steps that often lead to polymer residues or degradation of sample quality. Here we report a single-step method for large-area direct growth of continuous horizontal graphene sheets and vertical graphene nano-walls on silicon substrates by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) without active heating. Comprehensive studies utilizing Raman spectroscopy, x-ray/ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS/UPS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and optical transmission are carried out to characterize the quality and properties of these samples. Data gathered by the residual gas analyzer (RGA) during the growth process further provide information about the synthesis mechanism. Additionally, ultra-low friction (with a frictional coefficient ~0.015) on multilayer graphene-covered silicon surface is achieved, which is approaching the superlubricity limit (for frictional coefficients <0.01). Our growth method therefore opens up a new pathway towards scalable and direct integration of graphene into silicon technology for potential applications ranging from structural superlubricity to nanoelectronics, optoelectronics, and even the next-generation lithium-ion batteries.

Nanoscale strain engineering of giant pseudo-magnetic fields, valley polarization, and topological channels in graphene

We report an approach to manipulating the topological states in monolayer graphene via nanoscale strain engineering at room temperature. By placing strain-free monolayer graphene on architected nanostructures to induce global inversion symmetry breaking, we demonstrate the development of giant pseudo-magnetic fields (up to ~800 T), valley polarization, and periodic one-dimensional topological channels for protected propagation of chiral modes in strained graphene, thus paving a pathway toward scalable graphene-based valleytronics.

Direct growth of mm-size twisted bilayer graphene by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition

Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) techniques have been shown to be an efficient method to achieve single-step synthesis of high-quality monolayer graphene (MLG) without the need of active heating. Here we report PECVD-growth of single-crystalline hexagonal bilayer graphene (BLG) flakes and mm-size BLG films with the interlayer twist angle controlled by the growth parameters. The twist angle has been determined by three experimental approaches, including direct measurement of the relative orientation of crystalline edges between two stacked monolayers by scanning electron microscopy, analysis of the twist angle-dependent Raman spectral characteristics, and measurement of the Moiré period with scanning tunneling microscopy. In mm-sized twisted BLG (tBLG) films, the average twist angle can be controlled from 0° to approximately 20°, and the angular spread for a given growth condition can be limited to < 7°. Different work functions between MLG and BLG have been verified by the Kelvin probe force microscopy and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy. Electrical measurements of back-gated field-effect-transistor devices based on small-angle tBLG samples revealed high-quality electric characteristics at 300 K and insulating temperature dependence down to 100 K. This controlled PECVD-growth of tBLG thus provides an efficient approach to investigate the effect of varying Moiré potentials on tBLG.

Single-step growth of graphene and graphene-based nanostructures by plasmaenhanced chemical vapor deposition

Our latest review article by Professor Nai-Chang Yeh, Chen-Chih Hsu, Jacob Bagley and
Wei-Shiuan Tseng
The realization of many promising technological applications of graphene and graphene-based
nanostructures depends on the availability of reliable, scalable, high-yield and low-cost synthesis
methods. Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) has been a versatile technique
for synthesizing many carbon-based materials, because PECVD provides a rich chemical
environment, including a mixture of radicals, molecules and ions from hydrocarbon precursors,
which enables graphene growth on a variety of material surfaces at lower temperatures and faster
growth than typical thermal chemical vapor deposition. Here we review recent advances in the
PECVD techniques for synthesis of various graphene and graphene-based nanostructures.
Pdf Publication Link

Vertically-aligned graphene nanowalls grown via plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition as a binder-free cathode in Li–O2 batteries

Vertically-aligned graphene nanowalls grown via plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition as a binder-free cathode in Li–O2 batteries Chih-Pin Han, Vediyappan Veeramani, Chen-Chih Hsu, Anirudha Jena, Ho Chang, Nai-Chang Yeh, Shu-Fen Hu, and Ru-Shi Liu

In the present report, vertically-aligned graphene nanowalls are grown on Ni foam (VA-G/NF) using plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition method at room temperature. Optimization of the growth conditions provides graphene sheets with controlled defect sites. The unique architecture of the vertically-aligned graphene sheets allows sufficient space for the ionic movement within the sheets and hence enhancing the catalytic activity. Further modification with ruthenium nanoparticles (Ru NPs) drop-casted on VA-G/NF improves the charge overpotential for lithium–oxygen (Li–O2) battery cycles. Such reduction we believe is due to the easier passage of ions between the perpendicularly standing graphene sheets thereby providing ionic channels.

High-yield single-step catalytic growth of graphene nano-strips by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition

“High-yield single-step catalytic growth of graphene nano-strips by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition”, Chen-Chih Hsu, Jacob D. Bagley, Marcus L. Teague, Wei-Shiuan Tseng, Kathleen L, Yang, Yiran Zhang, Yiliang Li, Yilun Li, James M. Tour, and N.-C. Yeh, Carbon 129, 527 –536 (2018).