Theses Doctoral

Interaction Effects on Electric and Thermoelectric Transport in Graphene

Ghahari Kermani, Fereshte

Electron-electron (e-e) interactions in 2-dimensional electron gases (2DEGs) can lead to many-body correlated states such as the the fractional quantum Hall effect (FQHE), where the Hall conductance quantization appears at fractional filling factors. The experimental discovery of an anomalous integer quantum Hall effect in graphene has faciliated the study of the interacting electrons which behave like massless chiral fermions. However, the observation of correlated electron physics in graphene is mostly hindered by strong electron scattering caused by charge impurities. We fabricate devices, in which, electrically contacted and electrostatically gated graphene samples are either suspended over a SiO₂ substrate or deposited on a hexagonal boron nitride layer, so that a drastic suppression of disorder is achieved. The mobility of our graphene samples exceeds 100,000 cm²/Vs. This very high mobility allows us to observe previously inaccessible quantum limited transport phenomena.
In this thesis, we first present the transport measurements of ultraclean, suspended two-terminal graphene (chapter 3), where we observe the Fractional quantum Hall effect (FQHE) corresponding to filling fraction ν=1/3 FQHE state, hereby supporting the existence of interaction induced correlated electron states. In addition, we show that at low carrier densities graphene becomes an insulator with a magnetic-field-tunable energy gap. These newly discovered quantum states offer the opportunity to study correlated Dirac fermions in graphene in the presence of large magnetic fields.
Since the quantitative characterization of the observed FQHE states such as the FQHE energy gap is not straight-forward in a two-terminal measurement, we have employed the four-probe measuremt in chapter 4. We report on the multi-terminal measurement of integer quantum Hall effect(IQHE) and fractional quantum Hall effect (FQHE) states in ultraclean suspended graphene samples in low density regime. Filling factors corresponding to fully developed IQHE states, including the ν±1 broken-symmetry states and the ν=1/3 FQHE state are observed. The energy gap of the 1/3 FQHE, measured by its temperature-dependent activation, is found to be much larger than the corresponding state found in the 2DEGs of high-quality GaAs heterostructures, indicating that stronger e-e interactions are present in graphene relative to 2DEGs.
In chapter 5, we investigate the e-e correlations in graphene deposited on hexagonal boron nitride using the thermopower measurements. Our results show that at high temperatures the measured thermopower deviates from the generally accepted Mott's formula and that this deviation increases for samples with higher mobility. We quantify this deviation using the Boltzmann transport theory. We consider different scattering mechanisms in the system, including the electron-electron scattering.
In the last chapter, we present the magnetothermopower measurements of high quality graphene on hexagonal boron nitride, where we observe the quantized thermopower at intermediate fields. We also see deviations from the Mott's formula for samples with low disorder, where the interaction effects come into play . In addition, the symmetry broken quantum Hall states due to strong electron-electron interactions appear at higher fields, whose effect are clearly observed in the measured in mangeto-thermopower. We discuss the predicted peak values of the thermopower corresponding to these states by thermodynamic arguments and compare it with our experimental results.
We also present the sample fabrication methods in chapter 2. Here, we first explain the fabrication of the two-terminal and multi-terminal suspended graphene and the current annealing technique used to clean these samples. Then, we illustrate the fabrication of graphene on hexagonal boron nitride as well as encapsulated graphene samples with edge contacts.
In addition, the thermopower measurement technique is presented in Appendix A, in which, we explain the temperature calibration, DC and AC measurement techniques.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Kim, Philip
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 23, 2014