Water Affinity to Epitaxial Graphene: The Impact of Layer Thickness Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. The sensitivity to water vapour of one-, two-, and three-layer epitaxial graphene (1, 2, and 3LG) is examined in this study. It is unambiguously shown that graphene's response to water, as measured by changes in work function and carrier density, is dependent on its thickness, with 1LG being the most sensitive to water adsorption and environmental concentration changes. This is furthermore substantiated by surface adhesion measurements, which bring evidence that 1LG is less hydrophobic than 2LG. Yet, surprisingly, it is found that other contaminants commonly present in ambient air have a greater impact on graphene response than water vapor alone. This study indicates that graphene sensor design and calibration to minimize or discriminate the effect of the ambient, in which it is intended to operate, are necessary to insure the desired sensitivity and reliability of sensors. The present work will aid in developing models for realistic graphene sensors and establishing protocols for molecular sensor design and development.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Giusca, C. E., Panchal, V., Munz, M., Wheeler, V. D., Nyakiti, L. O., Myers-Ward, R. L., Gaskill, D. K., & Kazakova, O.

citation count

  • 31

complete list of authors

  • Giusca, Cristina E||Panchal, Vishal||Munz, Martin||Wheeler, Virginia D||Nyakiti, Luke O||Myers-Ward, Rachael L||Gaskill, D Kurt||Kazakova, Olga

publication date

  • November 2015