We report on the conversion of epitaxial monolayer graphene on SiC(0 0 0 1) into decoupled bilayer graphene by performing an annealing step in air. We prove by Raman scattering and photoemission experiments that it has structural and electronic properties that characterize its quasi-free-standing nature. The (6√3 × 6√3)R30° buffer layer underneath the monolayer graphene loses its covalent bonding to the substrate and is converted into a graphene layer due to the oxidation of the SiC surface. The oxygen reacts with the SiC surface without inducing defects in the topmost carbon layers. The high-quality bilayer graphene obtained after air annealing is p-doped and homogeneous over a large area.

This paper was originally published in Carbon (2012) 52, 83-89.

Download now