Synopsis: Graphene’s prisoners

Controlling defects on graphene that trap migrating metal atoms may lead to superior device fabrication.
Synopsis figure
Credit: O. Cretu et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. (2010).

Like semiconductor alloys that are amenable to band-gap engineering, graphene is more customizable from a technological perspective when slightly contaminated with defects and disorder. In its pure form, graphene’s energy spectrum does not have the band gap needed to control the transport characteristics of a device. Controlled addition of defects can change the properties of graphene to allow for new applications.

Writing in Physical Review Letters, Ovidiu Cretu and co-workers at the University of Strasbourg, France, together with collaborators at the Universities of Helsinki and Aalto, both in Finland, produce defects on a graphene surface by electron irradiation and subsequent annealing. Then, using transmission electron microscopy and density-functional calculations, they show that tungsten atoms, evaporated onto the surface from a heated filament, become trapped and localized by strain fields around the defects. The tungsten atoms can be made to migrate to less pristine regions of the hexagonal graphene lattice. These migrating metal atoms may enable more controlled engineering of electronic and magnetic structure of graphene than that offered by substitutional doping. – Sami Mitra


Features

More Features »

Announcements

More Announcements »

Subject Areas

NanophysicsGrapheneMaterials Science

Previous Synopsis

Next Synopsis

Interdisciplinary Physics

The topology of trade

Read More »

Related Articles

Synopsis: How Diamond-Like Carbon Films Grow
Materials Science

Synopsis: How Diamond-Like Carbon Films Grow

Machine-learning-based molecular dynamics simulations explain the growth mechanism of diamond-like amorphous carbon films. Read More »

Synopsis: Hidden Structure of Plasmons
Plasmonics

Synopsis: Hidden Structure of Plasmons

Calculations of the current density within collective charge oscillations called plasmons reveal a complicated structure that could affect how plasmons reflect off a boundary. Read More »

Synopsis: Stretching Graphene Localizes its Electrons
Graphene

Synopsis: Stretching Graphene Localizes its Electrons

The electrical properties of a graphene bilayer can be tuned by stretching and rotating one of the bilayer’s sheets. Read More »

More Articles