Graphene on transition-metal dichalcogenides: A platform for proximity spin-orbit physics and optospintronics

Preprint, Article English OPEN
Gmitra, Martin ; Fabian, Jaroslav (2015)
  • Publisher: American Physical Society
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1103/PhysRevB.92.155403
  • Subject: 530 Physik | Condensed Matter - Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics | ddc:530
    arxiv: Physics::Optics

Hybrids of graphene and two dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDC) have the potential to bring graphene spintronics to the next level. As we show here by performing first-principles calculations of graphene on monolayer MoS$_2$, there are several advantages of such hybrids over pristine graphene. First, Dirac electrons in graphene exhibit a giant global proximity spin-orbit coupling, without compromising the semimetallic character of the whole system at zero field. Remarkably, these spin-orbit effects can be very accurately described by a simple effective Hamiltonian. Second, the Fermi level can be tuned by a transverse electric field to cross the MoS$_2$ conduction band, creating a system of coupled massive and massles electron gases. Both charge and spin transport in such systems should be unique. Finally, we propose to use graphene/TMDC structures as a platform for optospintronics, in particular for optical spin injection into graphene and for studying spin transfer between TMDC and graphene.
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