Chaotic Dirac Billiard in Graphene Quantum Dots

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Science  18 Apr 2008:
Vol. 320, Issue 5874, pp. 356-358
DOI: 10.1126/science.1154663

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The exceptional electronic properties of graphene, with its charge carriers mimicking relativistic quantum particles and its formidable potential in various applications, have ensured a rapid growth of interest in this new material. We report on electron transport in quantum dot devices carved entirely from graphene. At large sizes (>100 nanometers), they behave as conventional single-electron transistors, exhibiting periodic Coulomb blockade peaks. For quantum dots smaller than 100 nanometers, the peaks become strongly nonperiodic, indicating a major contribution of quantum confinement. Random peak spacing and its statistics are well described by the theory of chaotic neutrino billiards. Short constrictions of only a few nanometers in width remain conductive and reveal a confinement gap of up to 0.5 electron volt, demonstrating the possibility of molecular-scale electronics based on graphene.

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