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Charge transfer equilibria in ambient-exposed epitaxial graphene on (0001) 6 H-SiC

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12 Author(s)
Sidorov, Anton N. ; School of Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, USA ; Gaskill, Kurt ; Buongiorno Nardelli, Marco ; Tedesco, Joseph L.
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The transport properties of electronic materials have been long interpreted independently from both the underlying bulk-like behavior of the substrate or the influence of ambient gases. This is no longer the case for ultra-thin graphene whose properties are dominated by the interfaces between the active material and its surroundings. Here, we show that the graphene interactions with its environments are critical for the electrostatic and electrochemical equilibrium of the active device layers and their transport properties. Based on the prototypical case of epitaxial graphene on (0001) 6 H-SiC and using a combination of in-situ thermoelectric power and resistance measurements and simulations from first principles, we demonstrate that the cooperative occurrence of an electrochemically mediated charge transfer from the graphene to air, combined with the peculiar electronic structure of the graphene/SiC interface, explains the wide variation of measured conductivity and charge carrier type found in prior reports.

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:111 ,  Issue: 11 )