The structural and electronic properties of van der Waals (vdW) heterostructrue constructed by graphene and graphene-like germanium carbide were investigated by computations based on density functional theory with vdW correction. The results showed that the Dirac cone in graphene can be quite well-preserved in the vdW heterostructure. The graphene/graphene-like germanium carbide interface forms a p-type Schottky contact. The p-type Schottky barrier height decreases as the interlayer distance decreases and finally the contact transforms into a p-type Ohmic contact, suggesting that the Schottky barrier can be effectively tuned by changing the interlayer distance in the vdW heterostructure. In addition, it is also possible to modulate the Schottky barrier in the graphene/graphene-like germanium carbide vdW heterostructure by applying a perpendicular electric field. In particular, the positive electric field induces a p-type Ohmic contact, while the negative electric field results in the transition from a p-type to an n-type Schottky contact. Our results demonstrate that controlling the interlayer distance and applying a perpendicular electric field are two promising methods for tuning the electronic properties of the graphene/graphene-like germanium carbide vdW heterostructure, and they can yield dynamic switching among p-type Ohmic contact, p-type Schottky contact, and n-type Schottky contact in a single graphene-based nanoelectronics device.
Wang, S., Chou, J-P., Ren, C., Tian, H., Yu, J., Sun, C., Xu, Y., & Sun, M. (2019). Tunable Schottky barrier in graphene/graphene-like germanium carbide van der Waals heterostructure. Scientific Reports, 9. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-40877-z