Submicron Size Schottky Junctions on As-Grown Monolayer Epitaxial Graphene on Ge(100): A Low-Invasive Scanned-Probe-Based Study

We report on the investigation of the Schottky barrier (SB) formed at the junction between a metal-free graphene monolayer and Ge semiconductor substrate in the as-grown epitaxial graphene/Ge(100) system. In order to preserve the heterojunction properties, we defined submicron size graphene/Ge junctions using the scanning probe microscopy lithography in the local oxidation configuration, a low-invasive processing approach capable of inducing spatially controlled electrical separations among tiny graphene regions. Characteristic junction parameters were estimated from IV curves obtained using conductive-atomic force microscopy. The current–voltage characteristics showed a p-type Schottky contact behavior, ascribed to the n-type to p-type conversion of the entire Ge substrate due to the formation of a large density of acceptor defects during the graphene growth process. We estimated, for the first time, the energy barrier height in the as-grown graphene/Ge Schottky junction (φB ≈ 0.45 eV) indicating an n-type doping of the graphene layer with a Fermi level ≈ 0.15 eV above the Dirac point. The SB devices showed ideality factor values around 1.5 pointing to the high quality of the heterojunctions.