The significant progress in terms of fabricating large-area graphene films for transparent electrodes, barriers, electronics, telecommunication and other applications has not yet been accompanied by efficient methods for characterizing the electrical properties of large-area graphene. While in the early prototyping as well as research and development phases, electrical test devices created by conventional lithography have provided adequate insights, this approach is becoming increasingly problematic due to complications such as irreversible damage to the original graphene film, contamination, and a high measurement effort per device. In this topical review, we provide a comprehensive overview of the issues that need to be addressed by any large-area characterisation method for electrical key performance indicators, with emphasis on electrical uniformity and on how this can be used to provide a more accurate analysis of the graphene film. We review and compare three different, but complementary approaches that rely either on fixed contacts (dry laser lithography), movable contacts (micro four point probes) and non-contact (terahertz time-domain spectroscopy) between the probe and the graphene film, all of which have been optimized for maximal throughput and accuracy, and minimal damage to the graphene film. Of these three, the main emphasis is on THz time-domain spectroscopy, which is non-destructive, highly accurate and allows both conductivity, carrier density and carrier mobility to be mapped across arbitrarily large areas at rates that by far exceed any other known method. We also detail how the THz conductivity spectra give insights on the scattering mechanisms, and through that, the microstructure of graphene films subject to different growth and transfer processes. The perspectives for upscaling to realistic production environments are discussed.
- Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy
- Electrical characterisation
- Conductance mapping
- Resistance mapping
- 2D materials