Electromechanical Properties of Graphene Drumheads

Science  22 Jun 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6088, pp. 1557-1561
DOI: 10.1126/science.1220335

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We determined the electromechanical properties of a suspended graphene layer by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS) measurements, as well as computational simulations of the graphene-membrane mechanics and morphology. A graphene membrane was continuously deformed by controlling the competing interactions with a STM probe tip and the electric field from a back-gate electrode. The probe tip–induced deformation created a localized strain field in the graphene lattice. STS measurements on the deformed suspended graphene display an electronic spectrum completely different from that of graphene supported by a substrate. The spectrum indicates the formation of a spatially confined quantum dot, in agreement with recent predictions of confinement by strain-induced pseudomagnetic fields.

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