Despite theoretical predictions that graphene should be impermeable to all gases, practical experiments on sealed graphene nanodrums show small leak rates. Thus far, the exact mechanism for this permeation has remained unclear, because different potential leakage pathways have not been studied separately. Here, we demonstrate a sealing method that consists of depositing SiO2 across the edge of suspended multilayer graphene flakes using electron beam-induced deposition. By sealing, leakage along the graphene-SiO2 interface is blocked, which is observed to result in a reduction in permeation rate by a factor of 104. The experiments thus demonstrate that gas flow along the graphene-SiO2 interface tends to dominate the leak rate in unsealed graphene nanodrums. Moreover, the presented sealing method enables the study of intrinsic gas leakage through graphene membranes and can enable hermetic graphene membranes for pressure sensing applications.
- electron beam induced deposition (EBID)
- pressure sensor