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Native and graphene-coated flat and stepped surfaces of TiC

Kataev, Elmar Yu., Usachov, Dmitry Yu., Frolov, Alexander S., Rulev, Alexei A., Volykhov, Andrey A., Kozmenkova, Anna Ya., Krivenkov, Maxim, Marchenko, Dmitry, Varykhalov, Andrei, Kuznetsov, Mikhail V., Vyalikh, Denis V., Yashina, Lada V.
Carbon 2018 v.132 pp. 656-666
X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, asymmetry, batteries, chemical reactions, electrodes, graphene, oxygen, satellites, titanium
Titanium carbide attracts growing interest as a substrate for graphene growth and as a component of the composite carbon materials for supercapacitors, an electrode material for metal-air batteries. For all these applications, the surface chemistry of titanium carbide is highly relevant and being, however, insufficiently explored especially at atomic level is a subject of our studies. Applying X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) to clean (111) and (755) surfaces of TiC, we were able to obtain the detailed spectroscopic pattern containing information on the plasmon structure, shake up satellite, the peak asymmetry and, finally, surface core level shift (SCLS) in C 1s spectra. The latter is essential for further precise studies of chemical reactions. Later on, we studied interface between TiC (111) and (755) and graphene and found the SCLS variation due to strong chemical interaction between graphene and substrate. This interaction is also reflected in the peculiar band structure of graphene probed by angle-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy (ARPES). Based on LEED data the structure is close to (7√3 × 7√3)R30°, with graphene being slightly corrugated. We found that similarly to the graphene on metals, the chemical interaction between graphene and TiC can be weakened by means of intercalation of oxygen atoms underneath graphene.