From graphene to silicon carbide: ultrathin silicon carbide flakes

This study presents a new ultrathin SiC structure prepared by a catalyst free carbothermal method and post-sonication process. We have found that merging ultra-light 3D graphene foam and SiO together at high temperature leads to the formation of a complex SiC structure consisting of 3D SiC foam covered with traditional 1D nanowires. Upon breaking off, the 3D SiC was confirmed to be made from 2D nanosheets. The resulting novel 2D SiC nanosheets/nanoflakes were thoroughly investigated by using optical microscope, SEM, EDS, TEM, STEM, AFM, and Raman, which verified the highly crystallised structure feature. AFM results revealed an average thickness of 2–3 nm and average size of 2 μm for the flakes. This new SiC structure could not only actualise SiC usage for nano-electronic devices but is also expected to open new applications as well.



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