Sunday, August 4, 2013

1308.0061 (Kamal K. Saha et al.)

Negative differential resistance in graphene-nanoribbon/carbon-nanotube
crossbars: A first-principles multiterminal quantum transport study

Kamal K. Saha, Branislav K. Nikolic
We simulate quantum transport between a graphene nanoribbon (GNR) and a single-walled carbon nanotube (CNT) where electrons traverse vacuum gap between them. The GNR covers CNT over a nanoscale region while their relative rotation is 90 degrees, thereby forming a four-terminal crossbar where the bias voltage is applied between CNT and GNR terminals. The CNT and GNR are chosen as either semiconducting (s) or metallic (m) based on whether their two-terminal conductance exhibits a gap as a function of the Fermi energy or not, respectively. We find nonlinear current-voltage (I-V) characteristics in all three investigated devices---mGNR-sCNT, sGNR-sCNT and mGNR-mCNT crossbars---which are asymmetric with respect to changing the bias voltage from positive to negative. Furthermore, the I-V characteristics of mGNR-sCNT crossbar exhibits negative differential resistance (NDR) with low onset voltage $V_\mathrm{NDR} \simeq 0.25$ V and peak-to-valley current ratio $\simeq 2.0$. The overlap region of the crossbars contains only $\simeq 460$ carbon and hydrogen atoms which paves the way for nanoelectronic devices ultrascaled well below the smallest horizontal length scale envisioned by the international technology roadmap for semiconductors. Our analysis is based on the nonequilibrium Green function formalism combined with density functional theory (NEGF-DFT), where we also provide an overview of recent extensions of NEGF-DFT framework (originally developed for two-terminal devices) to multiterminal devices.
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