The effect of atmospheric gases on the electrical stability of graphene
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In this thesis, adsorbate induced variations in the electrical conductivity of graphene layers with two different types of charge carriers are investigated experimentally by using Transient Photocurrent Spectroscopy (TPS) method. In-vacuum TPS measurements taken for a duration of 5 ks, revealed that the adsorption/desorption of atmospheric adsorbates leads to a 45 % incerment and 110 % decrement in the conductivity of CVD graphene (p--type) and epitaxial graphene (n-type) layers on semi-insulation (SI) Silicon Carbide (SiC) substrates, respectively. The graphene layers on SI-SiC substrates are encapsulated and passivated with thin SiO2 film grown by Thermal Evaporation and Pulsed Electron Deposition (PED) techniques. The mesurements conducted for short periods and a few cycles showed that the thermal passivation of graphene layers is insufficient. However, the PED encapsulation process completely suppresses the time-dependent conductivity instability of graphene independent of its charge carrier type. The obtained results are used the construct an experimental model for identifying adsorbate related conductivity variations in graphene and also in other 2D materials with inherently high surface-to-volume ratio.