Transferable GaN Layers Grown on ZnO-Coated Graphene Layers for Optoelectronic Devices

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Science  29 Oct 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6004, pp. 655-657
DOI: 10.1126/science.1195403

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Gallium Nitride Grown on Graphene

Nitride semiconductor materials used in light-emitting diodes and lasers are usually grown on single-crystal sapphire substrates with intermediate buffer layers. Instead, Chung et al. (p. 655) used graphene as a substrate for gallium nitride growth and found that nucleation of the gallium nitride layers was enhanced by first depositing zinc oxide, which grew as vertical nanowalls on the graphene. The gallium nitride layers displayed strong photo- and electroluminescence and, even better, the layers could be transferred to flexible substrates such as plastic.


We fabricated transferable gallium nitride (GaN) thin films and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) using graphene-layered sheets. Heteroepitaxial nitride thin films were grown on graphene layers by using high-density, vertically aligned zinc oxide nanowalls as an intermediate layer. The nitride thin films on graphene layers show excellent optical characteristics at room temperature, such as stimulated emission. As one of the examples for device applications, LEDs that emit strong electroluminescence emission under room illumination were fabricated. Furthermore, the layered structure of a graphene substrate made it possible to easily transfer GaN thin films and GaN-based LEDs onto foreign substrates such as glass, metal, or plastic.

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