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Nano Lett. 2014;14(4):2052-7. doi: 10.1021/nl500230a. Epub 2014 Mar 12.

Stacking boundaries and transport in bilayer graphene.

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Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM-CSIC), Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain.


Pristine bilayer graphene behaves in some instances as an insulator with a transport gap of a few millielectronvolts. This behavior has been interpreted as the result of an intrinsic electronic instability induced by many-body correlations. Intriguingly, however, some samples of similar mobility exhibit good metallic properties with a minimal conductivity of the order of 2e(2)/h. Here, we propose an explanation for this dichotomy, which is unrelated to electron interactions and based instead on the reversible formation of boundaries between stacking domains ("solitons"). We argue, using a numerical analysis, that the hallmark features of the previously inferred many-body insulating state can be explained by scattering on boundaries between domains with different stacking order (AB and BA). We furthermore present experimental evidence, reinforcing our interpretation, of reversible switching between a metallic and an insulating regime in suspended bilayers when subjected to thermal cycling or high current annealing.


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