CNRS, Charles Coulomb laboratory (L2C) (France)

Graphene/CNT-based sensor surfaces
The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (National Center for Scientific Research) is a government-funded research organization. With more than 1200 research units, it is the largest fundamental research organization in Europe.

The L2C (Laboratoire Charles Coulomb) is a joint research unit supported by the CNRS and University Montpellier 2. Since 2008, several teams of the L2C, have initiated research on graphene and graphite. Most of the work was first focused on Raman spectroscopy of exfoliated graphene. The research was then extended to the growth of epitaxial graphene and its Raman characterization. Finally, electrical properties were also investigated. In 2010, in regards of the numerous results obtained by the joined efforts of these different research teams, graphene was recognized as one of the top priority for physics at the University of Montpellier. Montpellier node has now a strong expertise, both on sensors and epitaxial graphene samples. Epitaxial graphene done on Silicon carbide substrates are considered as very interesting for applied physics, as these substrates are widely used in the SiC industry. Bio-sensors do not necessarily include a bottom gate, and need a large scale production. Therefore, epitaxial graphene is the most natural candidate for these bio-sensors. In Montpellier, optical microscopy, atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy are routinely used to characterize graphene. A coupled micro-transmission and micro-Raman set-up proved to be very useful for the determinations of the number of layers, the stacking order and the strain. We have also clean room facility where electrical devices are patterned. Montpellier node has also a strong background in magneto-optical experiments in semiconductors. In particular, Faraday and Kerr rotation (time-resolved and continuous wave) are the techniques currently set up in the lab. Up to now we successfully applied them to study two and three dimensional electron and hole gases in both III-V and II-VI compounds. In this project we are going to apply this expertise to the study of Faraday rotation (FR) in thin films of graphite and graphene. Much weaker signal is expected in near infrared and visible light, but higher quality of pyrolitic graphite (HOPG) and the increased total thickness of the graphite with respect to graphene suggest the feasibility of such experiments and their theoretical basis.

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