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Published March 2012 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Visualizing Local Doping Effects of Individual Water Clusters on Gold(111)-Supported Graphene


The local charge carrier density of graphene can exhibit significant and highly localized variations that arise from the interaction between graphene and the local environment, such as adsorbed water, or a supporting substrate. However, it has been difficult to correlate such spatial variations with individual impurity sites. By trapping (under graphene) nanometer-sized water clusters on the atomically well-defined Au(111) substrate, we utilize scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy to characterize the local doping influence of individual water clusters on graphene. We find that water clusters, predominantly nucleated at the atomic steps of Au(111), induce strong and highly localized electron doping in graphene. A positive correlation is observed between the water cluster size and the local doping level, in support of the recently proposed electrostatic-field-mediated doping mechanism. Our findings quantitatively demonstrate the importance of substrate-adsorbed water on the electronic properties of graphene.

Additional Information

© 2012 American Chemical Society. Received: November 27, 2011. Revised: January 31, 2012. Published: February 10, 2012. We thank the Department of Energy for support (DE-FG03-01ER46175).

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