Steps and their associated adatoms extensively exist and play prominent roles in affecting surface properties of materials. Such impacts should be especially pronounced in two-dimensional, atomically-thin membranes like graphene. However, how single adatom behaves at monatomic steps of few-layer graphene is still illusive. Here, we report dynamics of individual adatom at monatomic steps of free-standing few-layer reduced graphene under the electron beam radiations, and demonstrate the prevalent existence of monatomic steps even down to unexpectedly ultrasmall lateral size of a circular diameter of ∼5. Single adatom prefers to stay at the edges of the atomic steps of few-layer reduced graphene and evolve with the steps. Moreover, we also find that how the single adatom behaves at atomic step edges can be remarkably influenced by the type of adatoms and step edges. Such single adatoms at monatomic steps and ultrasmall atomic steps open up a new window for surface physics and chemistry for graphene-based as well as other two-dimensional materials.
|Publication status||Published - 2014 Aug 12|
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