Polytype instability of SiC epitaxial films was the main focus of attention in the experiment performed since this factor has a decisive influence on graphene growth, which was the second stage of the experiment. Layers deposited in various initial C/Si ratios were analyzed.
Our observations indicate that the initial C/Si ratio in epitaxial growth is a crucial parameter determining which polytype will be grown, in particular for cubic (3C) or hexagonal (4H) polytypes. If the initial C/Si ratio was close to its final value, the dominant polytype was 4H. On the other hand, when the initial C/Si ratio was close to zero, 3C became the major polytype in spite of a non favourable growth temperature.
The results for graphene growth on an epi-SiC layer and a bulk substrate, in which case the dominant polytype was 4H, are also presented. These results indicate that layers on epitaxial 4H-SiC are thicker, more relaxed and have better quality in comparison with samples on 4H-SiC substrates.
Morphology and defects in SiC epilayers were analyzed using Nomarsky optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high resolution X-ray diffraction (XRD). Graphene quality was characterized by Raman spectroscopy.