Negative Differential Resistance in van der Waals Heterostructures Due to Moiré-Induced Spectral Reconstruction

Damien J. Leech, Joshua J. P. Thompson, Marcin Mucha-Kruczynski

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Formation of moiré superlattices is common in van der Waals heterostructures as a result of the mismatch between lattice constants and misalignment of crystallographic directions of the constituent two-dimensional crystals. Here we discuss theoretically electron transport in a van der Waals tunneling transistor in which one or both of the electrodes are made of two crystals forming a moiré superlattice at their interface. As a proof of concept, we investigate structures containing either an aligned graphene/hexagonal boron nitride heterostructure or twisted-bilayer graphene and show that negative differential resistance is possible in such transistors and that this arises as a consequence of the superlattice-induced changes in the electronic density of states and without the need for momentum-conserving tunneling present in high-quality exfoliated devices. We extend this concept to a device with electrodes consisting of aligned graphene on α-In2Te2 and demonstrate negative-differential-resistance peak-to-valley ratios of approximately 10.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034014
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Issue number3
Early online date7 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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