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Published March 25, 2022 | public
Journal Article

Graphene on Nanoscale-Thick Au Films: Implications for Anticorrosion in Smart Wearable Electronics


Gold is normally considered inert to chemical reaction. Nevertheless, as a common electrode material, it would suffer from corrosion when exposed to certain solutions such as sweat and body fluids. Here, we report low-temperature plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) of graphene on gold and demonstrate its feasibility for anticorrosion application. The effects of hydrogen-to-methane ratio and the underlying gold substrate on the graphene growth are investigated, and the growth mechanism of PECVD graphene on gold is proposed. When immersed in an oxygenated saline solution, the PECVD-grown graphene-covered gold surface is found to remain intact after an acceleration soaking test at 90 °C for 24 h, which is in contrast to the degradation of bare gold surface subject to the same test. Our findings suggest that consumer/medical wearables and implantable devices with exposed gold can benefit from the protection of a direct, low-temperature PECVD-grown graphene layer for anticorrosion, thereby prolonging the efficacy and reliability of gold electrode-based biosensors.

Additional Information

© 2022 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society. Received: January 26, 2022; Accepted: February 17, 2022; Published: March 2, 2022. C.-H.L. acknowledges Professor George Rossman for providing access to the Raman spectrometer and the Molecular Materials Research Center in the Beckman Institute of the Caltech for access to XPS and AFM. C.-H.L. thanks Dr. Wei-Hsiang Lin for discussion on XPS results and acknowledges Dr. Chyi-Ming Leu at the Material and Chemical Research Laboratories (MCL) in ITRI for coordinating the STEM imaging and XRD acquisition. C.-H.L and K.-M.S. acknowledge the support from the J. Yang & Family Foundation. This work is supported by the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in Taiwan (NCY.PECVD2-1-ITRI.SRA2021). Author Contributions. The project was conceived jointly by C.-H.L. and N.-C.Y. C.-H.L. performed the graphene growth, Raman spectroscopic studies, and XPS and AFM measurements. K.-M. S. prepared the gold substrates and performed SEM imaging and AST test. S.-R. L. performed the ADF-STEM studies. N.-C. Y. and Y.-C. T. coordinated the research activities at Caltech. The manuscript was written with contributions from all authors. All authors have approved the final version of the manuscript. The authors declare no competing financial interest.

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August 22, 2023
October 23, 2023