Tunable metal-insulator transition in double-layer graphene heterostructures

Ponomarenko, L. A. and Geim, A. K. and Zhukov, A. A. and Jalil, R. and Morozov, S. V. and Novoselov, K. S. and Grigorieva, I. V. and Hill, E. H. and Cheianov, V. V. and Falko, V. and Watanabe, K. and Taniguchi, T. and Gorbachev, R. V. (2011) Tunable metal-insulator transition in double-layer graphene heterostructures. Nature Physics, 7 (12). pp. 958-961. ISSN 1745-2473

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Disordered conductors with resistivity above the resistance quantum h/e(2) should exhibit an insulating behaviour at low temperatures, a universal phenomenon known as a strong (Anderson) localization(1-3). Observed in a multitude of materials, including damaged graphene and its disordered chemical derivatives(4-10), Anderson localization has not been seen in generic graphene, despite its resistivity near the neutrality point reaching approximate to h/e(2) per carrier type(4,5). It has remained a puzzle why graphene is such an exception. Here we report a strong localization and the corresponding metal-insulator transition in ultra-high-quality graphene. The transition is controlled externally, by changing the carrier density in another graphene layer placed at a distance of several nm and decoupled electrically. The entire behaviour is explained by electron-hole puddles that disallow localization in standard devices but can be screened out in double-layer graphene. The localization that occurs with decreasing rather than increasing disorder is a unique occurrence, and the reported double-layer heterostructures presents a new experimental system that invites further studies.

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Journal Article
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Nature Physics
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29 Jun 2012 13:33
Last Modified:
21 Nov 2022 22:28