The correlation between the crystal structure of chemical vapor deposited (CVD) graphene, the crystal structure of the Cu growth substrate and their mutual effect on the oxidation of the underlying Cu are systematically explored. We report that natural oxygen or water intercalation along the graphene-Cu interface results in an orientation-dependent oxidation rate of the Cu surface, particularly noticeable for bicrystal graphene domains on the same copper grain, suggesting that the relative crystal orientation of subgrains determines the degree of Cu oxidation. Atomistic force field calculations support these observations, showing that graphene domains have preferential alignment with the Cu(111) with smaller average height above the global Cu surface as compared to intermediate orientations, and that this is the origin of the heterogeneous oxidation rate of Cu. This work demonstrates that the natural oxidation resistance of Cu coated by graphene is highly dependent on the crystal orientation and lattice alignment of Cu and graphene, which is key information for engineering the interface configuration of the graphene-Cu system for specific functionalities in mechanical, anticorrosion, and electrical applications of CVD graphene.
- Graphene subgrain
- Chemical vapor deposition
- Crystal orientation
- Atomistic force field calculation