Electric Field Effects on Graphene Materials

Elton J G Santos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Understanding the effect of electric fields on the physical and chemical properties of two-dimensional (2D) nanostructures is instrumental in the design of novel electronic and optoelectronic devices. Several of those properties are characterized in terms of the dielectric constant which play an important role on capacitance, conductivity, screening, dielectric losses and refractive index. Here we review our recent theoretical studies using density functional calculations including van der Waals interactions on two types of layered materials of similar two-dimensional molecular geometry but remarkably different electronic structures, that is, graphene and molybdenum disulphide (MoS2). We focus on such two-dimensional crystals because of they complementary physical and chemical properties, and the appealing interest to incorporate them in the next generation of electronic and optoelectronic devices. We predict that the effective dielectric constant (ε) of few-layer graphene and MoS2 is tunable by external electric fields (E ext). We show that at low fields (E ext < 0.01 V/Å) ε assumes a nearly constant value ∼4 for both materials, but increases at higher fields to values that depend on the layer thickness. The thicker the structure the stronger is the modulation of ε with the electric field. Increasing of the external field perpendicular to the layer surface above a critical value can drive the systems to an unstable state where the layers are weakly coupled and can be easily separated. The observed dependence of ε on the external field is due to charge polarization driven by the bias, which show several similar characteristics despite of the layer considered. All these results provide key information about control and understanding of the screening properties in two-dimensional crystals beyond graphene and MoS2
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExotic Properties of Carbon Nanomatter: Advances in Physics and Chemistry
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-017-9567-8
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameCarbon Materials: Chemistry and Physics
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
ISSN (Electronic)1875-0745


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