Tunneling current modulation in atomically precise graphene nanoribbon heterojunctions

Boris V. Senkovskiy*, Alexey V. Nenashev, Seyed K. Alavi, Yannic Falke, Martin Hell, Pantelis Bampoulis, Dmitry V. Rybkovskiy, Dmitry Yu Usachov, Alexander V. Fedorov, Alexander I. Chernov, Florian Gebhard, Klaus Meerholz, Dirk Hertel, Masashi Arita, Taichi Okuda, Koji Miyamoto, Kenya Shimada, Felix R. Fischer, Thomas Michely, Sergei D. BaranovskiiKlas Lindfors, Thomas Szkopek, Alexander Grüneis

*Corresponding author for this work

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Lateral heterojunctions of atomically precise graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) hold promise for applications in nanotechnology, yet their charge transport and most of the spectroscopic properties have not been investigated. Here, we synthesize a monolayer of multiple aligned heterojunctions consisting of quasi-metallic and wide-bandgap GNRs, and report characterization by scanning tunneling microscopy, angle-resolved photoemission, Raman spectroscopy, and charge transport. Comprehensive transport measurements as a function of bias and gate voltages, channel length, and temperature reveal that charge transport is dictated by tunneling through the potential barriers formed by wide-bandgap GNR segments. The current-voltage characteristics are in agreement with calculations of tunneling conductance through asymmetric barriers. We fabricate a GNR heterojunctions based sensor and demonstrate greatly improved sensitivity to adsorbates compared to graphene based sensors. This is achieved via modulation of the GNR heterojunction tunneling barriers by adsorbates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2542
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Early online date5 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

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