The objective of this proposal is to develop a fundamental understanding of the role of edge effects in the electronic and transport properties of graphene nanoribbon field effect transistors (GNR FETs). Intellectual Merit: This research will ascertain the significance of ideal, atomically smooth edges for GNR FETs, and thus will help to establish their ultimate intrinsic performance limit. A new approach will be used to carry out combined electrical transport and scanning tunneling microscopy/ spectroscopy measurements in situ to understand the edge effects on the electronic and transport properties of GNR FETs. The proposed devices will i) enable the identification and isolation of the effects of edges and surface impurities on important device characteristics, such as the carrier mobility and band gap; and ii) elucidate the correlation between the detailed edge and electronic structures and device characteristics in GNR FETs.
Broader Impacts: As the advance of GNR based nanoelectronics critically relies on the detailed understanding of the edge effects, the prototype devices developed in this project and the knowledge gained will help to pave the way for the next generation of all carbon electronics. The project tightly integrates research with graduate and undergraduate education and community outreach. Graduate students will play a pivotal role in this research, obtaining important training for their future scientific and technical careers. A special program to enhance K-12 education in science and mathematics will be instituted to promote the diversity of the future science and engineering workforce.