Systems and methods for synthesizing continuous graphene sheets are provided. The systems and methods include passing a catalyst substrate through a heated chemical vapor deposition chamber and exposing the substrate to a reaction gas mixture of hydrogen and hydrocarbon at a preselected location within the chamber. The reaction gas mixture can include hydrogen having a partial pressure of between about 0 Torr and 20 Torr, hydrocarbon having a partial pressure of between about 20 mTorr and about 10 Torr, and one or more buffer gases. The buffer gases can include argon or other noble gases to maintain atmospheric pressure within the chemical deposition chamber. The resulting graphene can be made with continuous mono and multilayers (up to six layers) and have single crystalline hexagonal grains with a preselected nucleation density and domain size for a range of applications.