Semiclassical magnetotransport in graphene n-p junctions

Pierre Carmier 1, 2, Caio Lewenkopf 3, Denis Ullmo 1

Physical Review B 84 (2011) 195428

We provide a semiclassical description of the electronic transport through graphene n-p junctions in the quantum Hall regime. This framework is known to experimentally exhibit conductance plateaus whose origin is still not fully understood. In the magnetic regime (E < vF B), we show the conductance of excited states is essentially zero, while that of the ground state depends on the boundary conditions considered at the edge of the sample. In the electric regime (E > vF B), for a step-like electrostatic potential (abrupt on the scale of the magnetic length), we derive a semiclassical approximation for the conductance in terms of the various snake-like trajectories at the interface of the junction. For a symmetric configuration, the general result can be recovered using a simple scattering approach, providing a transparent analysis of the problem under study. We thoroughly discuss the semiclassical predicted behavior for the conductance and conclude that any approach using fully phase-coherent electrons will hardly account for the experimentally observed plateaus.

  • 1. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud
  • 2. Institut Nanosciences et Cryogénie (ex DRFMC) (INAC),
  • 3. Instituto de Fisica,
    Universidade Federal Fluminense