Doped Graphene Nanoribbons for High Specific Conductivity Wiring

J. Zhang, E. Fahrenthold
University of Texas at Austin,
United States

Keywords: graphene, nanoribbons, doping, potassium, modeling


Carbon based conductors have attracted considerable research interest as potential replacements for copper wiring, in a variety of applications. The development of nanocarbon wiring with high mass specific conductivity is of particular interest in weight sensitive applications such as aerospace vehicle design. Published experimental work to date suggests that potassium doped graphene is the most promising nanocarbon candidate for high mass specific conductivity wiring. In recent computational research the authors have developed a general ab initio model of doped graphene nanoribbons (GNR), including the effects of doping density, doping distribution, and junction conductance on the electrical performance of the nanowires. The results suggest that: (1) potassium is a very mass efficient dopant for both armchair and zigzag GNRs, (2) improving the conductance of GNR junctions is critical, since junction conductance can severely limit nanowire performance, and (3) narrow potassium-doped zigzag GNR conductors may offer specific conductivities as much as twice those measured for the potassium intercalated graphene sheets described in published experiments. The modeling results are consistent with published experimental data, and can complement experimental research by identifying nanoscale features which limit macroscale wiring performance.