Nonlinear ballistic transport in an atomically thin material

Mathias J. Boland, Abhishek Sundararajan, M. Javad Farrokhi, Douglas R. Strachan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Ultrashort devices that incorporate atomically thin components have the potential to be the smallest electronics. Such extremely scaled atomically thin devices are expected to show ballistic nonlinear behavior that could make them tremendously useful for ultrafast applications. While nonlinear diffusive electron transport has been widely reported, clear evidence for intrinsic nonlinear ballistic transport in the growing array of atomically thin conductors has so far been elusive. Here we report nonlinear electron transport of an ultrashort single-layer graphene channel that shows quantitative agreement with intrinsic ballistic transport. This behavior is shown to be distinctly different than that observed in similarly prepared ultrashort devices consisting, instead, of bilayer graphene channels. These results suggest that the addition of only one extra layer of an atomically thin material can make a significant impact on the nonlinear ballistic behavior of ultrashort devices, which is possibly due to the very different chiral tunneling of their charge carriers. The fact that we observe the nonlinear ballistic response at room temperature, with zero applied magnetic field, in non-ultrahigh vacuum conditions and directly on a readily accessible oxide substrate makes the nanogap technology we utilize of great potential for achieving extremely scaled high-speed atomically thin devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1231-1239
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 26 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.


  • 2D materials
  • Electromigration
  • Graphene
  • Transport
  • Ultrashort channel length

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)
  • Engineering (all)
  • Physics and Astronomy (all)


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