Date of Award

5-2016

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Nanoscale Science

First Advisor

Carl A. Ventrice, Jr.

Abstract

Graphene is a 2-­‐D sheet of sp2 bonded carbon atoms with exceptional electrical properties. Particularly, graphene has a very high carrier mobility (~200,000 cm2/V·∙s). This is largely due to graphene’s unique electronic structure, wherein charge carriers are effectively massless Dirac fermions. However, the unique electronic structure of graphene has been shown to be affected by the underlying substrate. In this study, we characterize the electronic structure of graphene on copper. Electron energy loss spectroscopy is employed to observe the surface plasmon excitations of graphene. A small pi plasmon excitation is observed, suggesting that the graphene/Cu interaction is weak and non-­‐covalent. Additionally, density functional theory is used to calculate the band structure of graphene on copper. The Dirac point is still observed; however, the Dirac cone experiences interference from the metallic Cu substrate.

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