Epitaxial graphene is of particular interest because of its tunable electronic structure. One important approach to tune the electronic properties of graphene relays on intercalating atomic species between graphene and the topmost silicon carbide layer. Here, we investigated the morphology and electronic structure of gold-intercalated epitaxial graphene using a multitechnique approach combining spectroscopic photoemission low-energy electron microscopy (SPELEEM) for chemical and structural characterization at mesoscopic length scale and with transmission electron microscopy (STEM) at the atomic level. Deposition of gold on ex situ prepared graphene on SiC(0 0 0 1) results in the partial intercalation of Au adatoms under graphene, with the formation of a buffer layer of variable thickness. Gold has also shown to aggregate in nanometer-sized clusters lying on top of the same graphene film. X-ray photo-emission electron microscopy measurements indicate that Au induces only small changes in the doping of the graphene layer, which does not develop a quasi free-standing behavior.
Part of the book: Recent Advances in Graphene Research