Journal Article Crystalline Ni3C as both carbon source and catalyst for graphene nucleation: A QM/MD study

Jiao, Menggai  ,  Li, Kai  ,  Guan, Wei  ,  Wang, Ying  ,  Wu, Zhijian  ,  Page, Alister  ,  Morokuma, Keiji

52015-07-14 , Nature Publishing Group
Graphene nucleation from crystalline Ni3C has been investigated using quantum chemical molecular dynamics (QM/MD) simulations based on the self-consistent-charge density-functional tight-binding (SCC-DFTB) method. It was observed that the lattice of Ni3C was quickly relaxed upon thermal annealing at high temperature, resulting in an amorphous Ni3C catalyst structure. With the aid of the mobile nickel atoms, inner layer carbon atoms precipitated rapidly out of the surface and then formed polyyne chains and Y-junctions. The frequent sinusoidal-like vibration of the branched carbon configurations led to the formation of nascent graphene precursors. In light of the rapid decomposition of the crystalline Ni3C, it is proposed that the crystalline Ni3C is unlikely to be a reaction intermediate in the CVD-growth of graphene at high temperatures. However, results present here indicate that Ni3C films can be employed as precursors in the synthesis of graphene with exciting possibility.

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