Low-Temperature Gold-Catalyzed Graphite Etching

Graphene is an exciting new material with potential applications in myriad fields, and is a possible replacement for silicon in future integrated circuits. In order to realize these applications, effective patterning methods that can achieve nanoscale resolution are necessary. However, current methods are too cumbersome, abrasive, or high-temperature to enable industrial-scale fabrication. We have discovered a simple method for low-temperature gold-catalyzed etching of graphite with predictable characteristics. We anticipate that this work can be adapted by future research to precisely control the shape of the etched areas, allowing for the simple low-temperature creation of nanoscale graphite features, and ultimately can be applied to single-layer graphene sheets for integrated device fabrication.