The role of charge distribution on the friction coefficients of epitaxial graphene grown on the Si-terminated and C-terminated faces of SiC
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The friction coefficients of single-layer epitaxial graphene grown on the Si-terminated and C-terminated faces of Silicon Carbide (SiC) substrate were measured under ambient conditions using Friction Force Microscope (FFM). The lateral friction force measurements acquired in the applied normal force range between 4.0 and 16.0 nN showed that the friction coefficient of graphene on the C-terminated face of SiC is about two times smaller than the one grown on its Si-terminated face. The lateral friction was found to be decreased as the average of root mean square roughness increases suggesting the observed difference in the friction coefficients cannot be related to the roughness of the graphene layers. DFT calculations demonstrated that the altered periodicity of charge distribution on graphene due to the specific interactions with two distinct polar faces of SiC substrate might explain the observed difference in the friction coefficients.
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