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      Correlated Topological States in Graphene Nanoribbon Heterostructures

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          Abstract

          Finite graphene nanoribbon (GNR) heterostructures host intriguing topological in-gap states (Rizzo, D. J. et al.~\textit{Nature} \textbf{2018}, \textit{560}, 204]). These states may be localized either at the bulk edges, or at the ends of the structure. Here we show that correlation effects (not included in previous density functional simulations) play a key role in these systems: they result in increased magnetic moments at the ribbon edges accompanied by a significant energy renormalization of the topological end states -- even in the presence of a metallic substrate. Our computed results are in excellent agreement with the experiments. Furthermore, we discover a striking, novel mechanism that causes an energy splitting of the non-zero-energy topological end states for a weakly screened system. We predict that similar effects should be observable in other GNR heterostructures as well.

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            Tight-binding description of graphene

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              Molecular bandgap engineering of bottom-up synthesized graphene nanoribbon heterojunctions.

              Bandgap engineering is used to create semiconductor heterostructure devices that perform processes such as resonant tunnelling and solar energy conversion. However, the performance of such devices degrades as their size is reduced. Graphene-based molecular electronics has emerged as a candidate to enable high performance down to the single-molecule scale. Graphene nanoribbons, for example, can have widths of less than 2 nm and bandgaps that are tunable via their width and symmetry. It has been predicted that bandgap engineering within a single graphene nanoribbon may be achieved by varying the width of covalently bonded segments within the nanoribbon. Here, we demonstrate the bottom-up synthesis of such width-modulated armchair graphene nanoribbon heterostructures, obtained by fusing segments made from two different molecular building blocks. We study these heterojunctions at subnanometre length scales with scanning tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy, and identify their spatially modulated electronic structure, demonstrating molecular-scale bandgap engineering, including type I heterojunction behaviour. First-principles calculations support these findings and provide insight into the microscopic electronic structure of bandgap-engineered graphene nanoribbon heterojunctions.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                02 October 2019
                Article
                1910.01152

                http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

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                cond-mat.mes-hall

                Nanophysics

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