Open Access Nano Express

Defect symmetry influence on electronic transport of zigzag nanoribbons

Hui Zeng12*, Jean-Pierre Leburton234, Yang Xu5 and Jianwei Wei6

Author Affiliations

1 College of Physical Science and Technology, Yangtze University, Jingzhou, Hubei 434023, China

2 Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

3 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

4 Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

5 Department of Information Science and Electronic Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310027, China

6 College of Mathematics and Physics, Chongqing University of Technology, Chongqing 400054, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:254  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-254

Published: 24 March 2011


The electronic transport of zigzag-edged graphene nanoribbon (ZGNR) with local Stone-Wales (SW) defects is systematically investigated by first principles calculations. While both symmetric and asymmetric SW defects give rise to complete electron backscattering region, the well-defined parity of the wave functions in symmetric SW defects configuration is preserved. Its signs are changed for the highest-occupied electronic states, leading to the absence of the first conducting plateau. The wave function of asymmetric SW configuration is very similar to that of the pristine GNR, except for the defective regions. Unexpectedly, calculations predict that the asymmetric SW defects are more favorable to electronic transport than the symmetric defects configuration. These distinct transport behaviors are caused by the different couplings between the conducting subbands influenced by wave function alterations around the charge neutrality point.