Graphene has been given great attention to overcome current physical limits in electronic devices and its synthesis routes
are developing rapidly. However, graphene film manufacturing is still hindered by either low throughput or low material
quality. Here, we present a low temperature PE-CVD assisted graphene growth process on nickel thin films deposited on silicon oxide. Furthermore, our process leads to the formation of two separated graphene films, one at the nickel surface and the other at the Ni/SiO2 interface. A mixture of methane and hydrogen was employed as carbon precursor and activated by DC plasma. We found that the number of graphene layers on top of nickel can be controlled by carbon exposure time, from 1 to around 10 layers. Further annealing process of samples allowed us to achieve improved graphene films by the dissolution and segregation-crystallization process.
Since it was isolated in 2004, graphene, the first known 2D crystal, is the object of a growing interest, due to the range of its possible applications as well as its intrinsic properties. From large scale electronics and photovoltaics to spintronics and fundamental quantum phenomena, graphene films have attracted a large community of researchers. But bringing graphene to industrial applications will require a reliable, low cost and easily scalable synthesis process. In this paper we present a new growth process based on plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition. Furthermore, we show that, when the substrate is an oxidized silicon wafer covered by a nickel thin film, graphene is formed not only on top of the nickel film, but also at the interface with the supporting SiO2 layer. The films grown using this method were characterized using classical methods (Raman spectroscopy, AFM, SEM) and their conductivity is found to be close to those reported by others.