This paper describes a new technique, termed "metal-assisted exfoliation," for the scalable transfer of graphene from catalytic copper foils to flexible polymeric supports. The process is amenable to roll-to-roll manufacturing, and the copper substrate can be recycled. We then demonstrate the use of single-layer graphene as a template for the formation of sub-nanometer plasmonic gaps using a scalable fabrication process called “nanoskiving.” These gaps are formed between parallel gold nanowires in a process that first produces three-layer thin films with the architecture gold/single-layer graphene/gold, and then sections the composite films with an ultramicrotome. The structures produced can be treated as two gold nanowires separated along their entire lengths by an atomically thin graphene nanoribbon. Oxygen plasma etches the sandwiched graphene to a finite depth; this action produces a sub-nanometer gap near the top surface of the junction between the wires that is capable of supporting highly confined optical fields. The confinement of light is confirmed by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy measurements, which indicate that the enhancement of the electric field arises from the junction between the gold nanowires. These experiments demonstrate nanoskiving as a unique and easy-to-implement fabrication technique that is capable of forming sub-nanometer plasmonic gaps between parallel metallic nanostructures over long, macroscopic distances. These structures could be valuable for fundamental investigations as well as applications in plasmonics and molecular electronics.
Aliaksandr V. Zaretski, Brandon C. Marin, Herad Moetazedi, Tyler J Dill, Liban Jibril, Casey Kong, Andrea R. Tao, and Darren J. Lipomi, "Metal-assisted exfoliation (MAE): green process for transferring graphene to flexible substrates and templating of sub-nanometer plasmonic gaps (Presentation Recording)," Proc. SPIE 9552, Carbon Nanotubes, Graphene, and Emerging 2D Materials for Electronic and Photonic Devices VIII, 95520X (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 11, 2015; Published: 5 October 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2191568.4519371080001.
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