Technical: This GOALI project aims to develop a systematic understanding of the key electronic and optical properties of few-layer graphene and to apply this knowledge to exploratory electronic and photonic devices. The project involves collaboration between academia (Columbia University and Case Western Reserve University) and industry (IBM T. J. Watson Research Center). Recent research has revealed the remarkable electronic and optical properties of single-layer graphene. Few-layer graphene retains many of the unique properties of single-layer graphene while also providing much more flexibility in electronic structure, including the availability of a tunable band gap. Through this research project, scientists investigate how doping, electric fields and crystallographic stacking alter the properties of few-layer graphene material. Measurement techniques supporting these investigations include electrical transport characterization, light absorption in the optical, infrared, and terahertz spectral ranges, and Raman spectroscopy of phonons. The studies examine both pristine few-layer graphene samples and films in electrostatically gated device structures, which allow tuning of carrier densities and applied electric fields. The knowledge gained from these investigations will inform research on distinctive electronic and optoelectronic device applications of few-layer graphene, such as field-effect transistors with high on-off ratios and tunable infrared detectors and emitters.

Nontechnical Abstract

This project addresses basic research issues in a topical area of materials science with potential technological relevance. The research investigates the electronic and optical properties of few-layer graphene, a material that consists of ordered carbon films of just a few atomic layers in thickness. The project uses this knowledge to examine model electronic and photonic devices based on this novel material system. Success of the research will expand our fundamental understanding of the properties of electrons in few-layer graphene and their interaction with electric fields and light. In addition, applications of few-layer graphene in electronics and photonics have the potential to impact fields ranging from information technology to environmental monitoring. Through integrated industry-academia collaboration, the program provides opportunities for the training of graduate and undergraduate students in materials and in device fabrication, characterization and modeling.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Materials Research (DMR)
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Z. Charles Ying
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Columbia University
New York
United States
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