Optimising the visibility of graphene and graphene oxide on gold with multilayer heterostructures

Matěj Velický, William R Hendren, Gavin E Donnelly, Joel M Katzen, Robert M Bowman, Fumin Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
462 Downloads (Pure)


Metals have been increasingly used as substrates in devices based on two-dimensional (2D) materials. However, the high reflectivity of bulk metals results in low optical contrast (<3%) and therefore poor visibility of transparent mono- and few-layer 2D materials on these surfaces. Here we demonstrate that by engineering the complex reflectivity of a purpose-designed multilayer heterostructure composed of thin Au films (2-8 nm) on SiO2/Si substrate, the optical contrast of graphene and graphene oxide (GO) can be significantly enhanced in comparison to bulk Au, up to about 3 and 5 times, respectively. In particular, we achieved ∼17% optical contrast for monolayer GO, which is even 2 times higher than that on bare SiO2/Si substrate. The experimental results are in good agreement with theoretical simulations. This concept is demonstrated for Au, but the methodology is applicable to other metals and can be adopted to design a variety of high-contrast metallic substrates. This will facilitate research and applications of 2D materials in areas such as plasmonics, photonics, catalysis and sensors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275205
Issue number27
Early online date17 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 09 May 2018


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