Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Dr. Douglas R. Strachan

Abstract

We have developed a novel method of producing ultra-short channel graphene field effect devices on SiO2 substrates and have studied their electrical transport properties. A nonlinear current behavior is observed coupled with a quasi-saturation effect. An analytical model is developed to explain this behavior using ballistic transport, where the charge carriers experience minimal scattering. We also observe multilevel resistive switching after the device is electrically stressed. In addition, we have studied the evolution of the electrical transport properties of few-layer graphene during electrical breakdown. We are able to significantly increase the time scale of break junction formation, and we are able to observe changes occurring close to breakdown regime. A decrease in conductivity along with p−type doping of the graphene channel is observed as the device is broken. The addition of structural defects generated by thermal stress caused by high current densities is attributed to the observed evolution of electrical properties during the process of breakdown. We have also studied the effects of the local environment on graphene devices. We encapsulate graphene with poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) polymer and study the electrical transport through in situ measurements. We have observed an overall decrease in doping level after low-temperature annealing in dry-nitrogen, indicating that the solvent in the polymer plays an important role in doping. For few-layer encapsulated graphene devices, we observe stable n−doping. Applying the solvent onto encapsulated devices demonstrates enhanced hysteretic switching between p and n−doped states.

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