Pseudomagnetic fields in a locally strained graphene drumhead

SZ Zhu and Y Huang and NN Klimov and DB Newell and NB Zhitenev and JA Stroscio and SD Solares and T Li, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 90, 075426 (2014).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.90.075426

Recent experiments reveal that a scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) probe tip can generate a highly localized strain field in a graphene drumhead, which in turn leads to pseudomagnetic fields in the graphene that can spatially confine graphene charge carriers in a way similar to a lithographically defined quantum dot (QD). While these experimental findings are intriguing, their further implementation in nanoelectronic devices hinges upon the knowledge of key underpinning parameters, which still remain elusive. In this paper we first summarize the experimental measurements of the deformation of graphene membranes due to interactions with the STM probe tip and a back-gate electrode. We then carry out systematic coarse-grained (CG) simulations to offer a mechanistic interpretation of STM tip-induced straining of the graphene drumhead. Our findings reveal the effect of (i) the position of the STM probe tip relative to the graphene drumhead center, (ii) the sizes of both the STM probe tip and graphene drumhead, as well as (iii) the applied back-gate voltage, on the induced strain field and corresponding pseudomagnetic field. These results can offer quantitative guidance for future design and implementation of reversible and on-demand formation of graphene QDs in nanoelectronics.

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