Inter-ribbon tunneling in graphene: An atomistic Bardeen approach
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
New York, N.Y. :American Institute of Physics
Journal of applied physics / American Institute of Physics. - New York, N.Y., 1937, currens
, 9 p.
University of Antwerp
A weakly coupled system of two crossed graphene nanoribbons exhibits direct tunneling due to the overlap of the wavefunctions of both ribbons. We apply the Bardeen transfer Hamiltonian formalism, using atomistic band structure calculations to account for the effect of the atomic structure on the tunneling process. The strong quantum-size confinement of the nanoribbons is mirrored by the one-dimensional character of the electronic structure, resulting in properties that differ significantly from the case of inter-layer tunneling, where tunneling occurs between bulk two-dimensional graphene sheets. The current-voltage characteristics of the inter-ribbon tunneling structures exhibit resonance, as well as stepwise increases in current. Both features are caused by the energetic alignment of one-dimensional peaks in the density-of-states of the ribbons. Resonant tunneling occurs if the sign of the curvature of the coupled energy bands is equal, whereas a step-like increase in the current occurs if the signs are opposite. Changing the doping modulates the onset-voltage of the effects as well as their magnitude. Doping through electrostatic gating makes these structures promising for application towards steep slope switching devices. Using the atomistic empirical pseudopotentials based Bardeen transfer Hamiltonian method, inter-ribbon tunneling can be studied for the whole range of two-dimensional materials, such as transition metal dichalcogenides. The effects of resonance and of step-like increases in the current we observe in graphene ribbons are also expected in ribbons made from these alternative two-dimensional materials, because these effects are manifestations of the one-dimensional character of the density-of-states. Published by AIP Publishing.