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Title: Asymmetric Electron Transport at Monolayer-Bilayer Heterojunctions of Epitaxial Graphene

The symmetry of the graphene honeycomb lattice is a key element determining many of graphene s unique electronic properties, such as the linear energy-momentum dispersion and the suppressed backscattering 1,2. However, line defects in large-scale epitaxial graphene films, such as grain boundaries, edges, surface steps, and changes in layer thickness, often break the sublatttice symmetry and can impact transport properties of graphene profoundly 3-6. Here we report asymmetric electron transport upon polarity reversal at individual monolayer-bilayer (ML-BL) boundaries in epitaxial graphene on SiC (0001), revealed by scanning tunneling potentiometry. A greater voltage drop is observed when the current flows from BL to ML graphene than in the reverse direction, and the difference remains nearly unchanged with increasing current. This is not a typical nonlinear conductance due to electron transmission through an asymmetric potential. Rather, it indicates the opening of a dynamic energy gap at the Fermi energy due to the Coulomb interaction between the injected nonequilibrium electron density and the pseudospin polarized Friedel oscillation charge density at the boundary. This intriguing heterojunction transport behavior opens a new avenue towards novel quantum functions such as quantum switching.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3]
  1. ORNL
  2. University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK)
  3. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physical Review X; Journal Volume: 4
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS)
Sponsoring Org:
SC USDOE - Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States