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Nanotechnology. 2009 Mar 4;20(9):095705. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/20/9/095705. Epub 2009 Feb 11.

Conductance gaps in graphene ribbons designed by molecular aggregations.

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Departamento de Física, Universidad Santa María, Valparaíso, Chile.


The transport properties of graphene nanoribbons with linear benzene-based molecules pinned at the ribbon edges are studied. The systems are described by a single pi-band tight-binding Hamiltonian and by using the Green functions formalism based on real-space renormalization techniques. Different configurations have been considered, such as two and three attached molecules separated by a variable distance d, and the case of a finite array of molecules attached to the ribbon in different geometries (one-side and alternated sequence). In the latter case the conductance behavior is compared with the case of a molecular superlattice-like structure. In these hybrid systems of ribbons with a large number of regular attached foreign structures, we have shown the formation of well-defined energy gaps for which the conductance is completely suppressed. These gaps can be tuned by varying the number, relative distance, and length of the attached molecules. An analysis is performed to understand the nature of the conductance gap and its relation with the foreign molecular structures, providing a mechanism to delineate novel molecular sensors.

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