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Resonant tunnelling and negative differential conductance in graphene transistors

Britnell, L.; Gorbachev, R.V.; Geim, A.K.; Ponomarenko, L.A.; Mishchenko, A.; Greenaway, M.T.; Fromhold, T.M.; Novoselov, K.S.; Eaves, Laurence


L. Britnell

R.V. Gorbachev

A.K. Geim

L.A. Ponomarenko

A. Mishchenko

M.T. Greenaway

T.M. Fromhold

K.S. Novoselov

Laurence Eaves


The chemical stability of graphene and other free-standing two-dimensional crystals means that they can be stacked in different combinations to produce a new class of functional materials, designed for specific device applications. Here we report resonant tunnelling of Dirac fermions through a boron nitride barrier, a few atomic layers thick, sandwiched between two graphene electrodes. The resonance occurs when the electronic spectra of the two electrodes are aligned. The resulting negative differential conductance in the device characteristics persists up to room temperature and is gate voltage-tuneable due to graphene’s unique Dirac-like spectrum. Although conventional resonant tunnelling devices comprising a quantum well sandwiched between two tunnel barriers are tens of nanometres thick, the tunnelling carriers in our devices cross only a few atomic layers, offering the prospect of ultra-fast transit times. This feature, combined with the multi-valued form of the device characteristics, has potential for applications in high-frequency and logic devices.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Apr 30, 2013
Journal Nature Communications
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Article Number 1794
Institution Citation Britnell, L., Gorbachev, R., Geim, A., Ponomarenko, L., Mishchenko, A., Greenaway, M., …Eaves, L. (2013). Resonant tunnelling and negative differential conductance in graphene transistors. Nature Communications, 4, doi:10.1038/ncomms2817
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