Tuning Electronic Properties of Low Dimensional Materials
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Discovery of grapheme has paved way for experimental realization of many physical phenomena such as massless Dirac fermions, quantum hall effect and zero-field conductivity. Search for other two dimensional (2D) materials led to the discovery of boron nitride, transition metal dichalcogenides(TMDs),transition metal oxides(MO2)and silicene. All of these materials exhibit different electronic and transport properties and are very promising for nanodevices such as nano-electromechanical-systems(NEMS), field effect transistors(FETs),sensors, hydrogen storage, nano photonics and many more. For practical utility of these materials in electronic and photonic applications, varying the band gap is very essential. Tuning of band gap has been achieved by doping, functionalization, lateral confinement, formation of hybrid structures and application of electric field. However, most of these techniques have limitations in practical applications. While, there is a lack of effective method of doping or functionalization in a controlled fashion, growth of speciﬁc sized nanostructures (e.g., nanoribbons and quantum dots),freestanding or embedded is yet to be achieved experimentally. The requirement of high electric field as well as the need for an extra electrode is another disadvantage in electric field induced tuning of band gap in low dimensional materials. Development of simpler yet effective methods is thus necessary to achieve this goal experimentally for potential application of these materials in various nano-devices. In this thesis, novel methods for tuning band gap of few 2D materials, based on strain and stacking, have been proposed theoretically using ﬁrst principles based density functional theory(DFT) calculations. Electronic properties of few layered nanomaterials are studied subjected to mechanical and chemical strain of various kinds along with the effect of stacking pattern. These methods offer promising ways for controlled tuning of band gap in low dimensional materials. Detailed methodology of these proposed methods and their effect on electronic, structural or vibrational properties have also been studied. The thesis has been organized as follows: Chapter1 provides a general introduction to the low dimensional materials: their importance and potential application. An overview of the systems studied here is also given along with the traditional methods followed in the literature to tune their electronic properties. The motivation of the current research work has also been highlighted in this chapter. Chapter 2 describes the theoretical methodology adopted in this work. It gives brief understanding of ﬁrst principles based Density Functional Theory(DFT) and various exchange and correlation energy functionals used here to obtain electronic, structural, vibrational and magnetic properties of the concerned materials. Chapter 3 deals with finding the origin of a novel experimental phenomenon, where electromechanical oscillations were observed on an array of buckled multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)subjected to axial compression. The effect of structural changes in CNTs in terms of buckling on electronic properties was studied. Contribution from intra-as well as inter-wall interactions was investigated separately by using single-and double-walled CNTs. Chapter 4 presents a method to manipulate electronic and transport properties of graphene bilayer by sliding one of the layers. Sliding caused breaking of symmetry in the graphene bilayer, which resulted in change in dispersion in the low energy bands. A transition from linear dispersion in AA stacking to parabolic dispersion in AB stacking is discussed in details. This shows a possibility to use these slid bilayers to tailor graphene based devices. Chapter 5 develops a method to tune band gap of bilayers of semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides(TMDs) by the application of normal compressive strain. A reversible semiconductor to metal(S-M) transition was reported in this chapter for bilayers of TMDs. Chapter 6 shows the evolution of S-M transition from few layers to the bulk MoS2 under various in-plane and out of plane strains. S-M transition as a function of layer number has been studied for different strain types. A comparison between the in-plan and normal strain on modifying electronic properties is also presented. Chapter 7 discusses the electronic phase transition of bulk MoS2 under hydrostatic pressure. A hydrostatic pressure includes a combined effect of both in-plane and normal strain on the structure. The origin of metallic transition under pressure has been studied here in terms of electronic structure, density of states and charge analysis. Chapter 8 studies the chemical strain present in boron nitride nanoribbons and its effect on structural, electronic and magnetic properties of these ribbons. Properties of two achiral (armchair and zig-zag) edges have been analyzed in terms of edge energy and edge stress to predict stability of the edges. Chapter9 summarizes and concludes the work presented in this thesis.