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Nature. 2009 Jun 11;459(7248):820-3. doi: 10.1038/nature08105.

Direct observation of a widely tunable bandgap in bilayer graphene.

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  • 1Department of Physics, University of California at Berkeley, USA.

Abstract

The electronic bandgap is an intrinsic property of semiconductors and insulators that largely determines their transport and optical properties. As such, it has a central role in modern device physics and technology and governs the operation of semiconductor devices such as p-n junctions, transistors, photodiodes and lasers. A tunable bandgap would be highly desirable because it would allow great flexibility in design and optimization of such devices, in particular if it could be tuned by applying a variable external electric field. However, in conventional materials, the bandgap is fixed by their crystalline structure, preventing such bandgap control. Here we demonstrate the realization of a widely tunable electronic bandgap in electrically gated bilayer graphene. Using a dual-gate bilayer graphene field-effect transistor (FET) and infrared microspectroscopy, we demonstrate a gate-controlled, continuously tunable bandgap of up to 250 meV. Our technique avoids uncontrolled chemical doping and provides direct evidence of a widely tunable bandgap-spanning a spectral range from zero to mid-infrared-that has eluded previous attempts. Combined with the remarkable electrical transport properties of such systems, this electrostatic bandgap control suggests novel nanoelectronic and nanophotonic device applications based on graphene.

PMID:
19516337
[PubMed]
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