A novel technique for growing graphene on relatively inert metals, consisting in the thermal decomposition of low energy ethylene ions irradiated on hot metal surfaces in ultrahigh vacuum, is reported. By this route, we have grown graphene monolayers on Cu(111) and, for the first time, on Au(111) surfaces. For both noble metal substrates, but particularly for Au(111), our scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy measurements provide sound evidence of a very weak graphene-metal interaction.
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