Effect of SiO2 substrate on the irradiation-assisted manipulation of supported graphene: a molecular dynamics study

SJ Zhao and JM Xue and YG Wang and S Yan, NANOTECHNOLOGY, 23, 285703 (2012).

DOI: 10.1088/0957-4484/23/28/285703

The irradiation effects in graphene supported by SiO2 substrate including defect production and implantation efficiency are investigated using the molecular dynamics (MD) method with empirical potentials. We show that the irradiation damage in supported graphene comes from two aspects: the direct damage induced by the incident ions and the indirect damage resulting from backscattered particles and sputtered atoms from the substrate. In contrast with the damage in suspended graphene, we find that the indirect damage is dominant in supported graphene at high energies. As a result, enhanced irradiation damage in supported graphene is observed when the incident energy is above 5 keV for Ar and 3 keV for Si. The direct damage probability at all energies, even the total damage probability at low energies, in supported graphene is always much lower than that in suspended graphene because of the higher threshold displacement energy of carbon atoms. In addition, we demonstrate the striking finding that it is possible to dope graphene with sputtered atoms from the substrate and the implantation probability is considerable at optimal energies. Our results indicate that the substrate is an important factor in the process of ion-irradiation- assisted engineering of the properties of graphene.

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