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Energy gaps and a zero-field quantum Hall effect in graphene by strain engineering

AuthorsGuinea, F. ; Katsnelson, M. I.; Geim, A. K.
KeywordsEnergy gaps
Issue Date27-Sep-2009
PublisherNature Publishing Group
CitationNature Physics 6: 30-33 (2009)
AbstractAmong many remarkable qualities of graphene, its electronic properties attract particular interest owing to the chiral character of the charge carriers, which leads to such unusual phenomena as metallic conductivity in the limit of no carriers and the half-integer quantum Hall effect observable even at room temperature1, 2, 3. Because graphene is only one atom thick, it is also amenable to external influences, including mechanical deformation. The latter offers a tempting prospect of controlling graphene's properties by strain and, recently, several reports have examined graphene under uniaxial deformation4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Although the strain can induce additional Raman features7, 8, no significant changes in graphene's band structure have been either observed or expected for realistic strains of up to approx15% (refs 9, 10, 11). Here we show that a designed strain aligned along three main crystallographic directions induces strong gauge fields12, 13, 14 that effectively act as a uniform magnetic field exceeding 10 T. For a finite doping, the quantizing field results in an insulating bulk and a pair of countercirculating edge states, similar to the case of a topological insulator15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. We suggest realistic ways of creating this quantum state and observing the pseudomagnetic quantum Hall effect. We also show that strained superlattices can be used to open significant energy gaps in graphene's electronic spectrum.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nphys1420
Appears in Collections:(ICMM) Artículos
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