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Study quantifies the electron transport effects of placing metal contacts onto graphene
Date:2/24/2010

Using large-scale supercomputer calculations, researchers have analyzed how the placement of metallic contacts on graphene changes the electron transport properties of the material as a factor of junction length, width and orientation. The work is believed to be the first quantitative study of electron transport through metal-graphene junctions to examine earlier models in significant detail.

Information on the ways in which attaching metal contacts affects electron transport in graphene will be important to scientists studying the material and to designers who may one day fabricate electronic devices from the carbon-lattice material.

"Graphene devices will have to communicate with the external world, and that means we will have to fabricate contacts to transport current and data," said Mei-Yin Chou, a professor and department chair in the School of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "When they put metal contacts onto graphene to measure transport properties, researchers and device designers need to know that they may not be measuring the instrinsic properties of pristine graphene. Coupling between the contacts and the material must be taken into account."

Information on the effects of metal contacts on graphene was reported in the journal Physical Review Letters on February 19th. The research was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, and involved interactions with researchers at the National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at Georgia Tech.

Using large-scale, first-principles calculations done at two different NSF-supported supercomputer centers, the Georgia Tech research team which included postdoctoral fellows Salvador Barraza-Lopez and Mihajlo Vanevic, and assistant professor Markus Kindermann conducted detailed atomic-level calculations of aluminum contacts grown on graphene.

The calculations studied two contacts up
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Contact: John Toon
jtoon@gatech.edu
404-894-6986
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News
Source:Eurekalert  

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