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Dirac fermion optics and plasmonics in graphene microwave devices

Abstract : This thesis addresses the physics of non-interacting and interacting Dirac fermions in ballistic graphene. Three main phenomena are investigated: Dirac fermion optics in electronic prisms defined by p-n junctions, GHz plasmonics in plasma resonance capacitors, and the breakdown of the integer quantum Hall effect (QHBD) by a magnetoexciton instability. Our technology relies on h-BN encapsulated graphene devices characterized by DC to GHz electronic transport and noise. We first study the total internal reflection of electrons in a gate-defined corner reflector. Both geometric and coherent electron optics effects are demonstrated and the device is shown to be sensitive to minute phonon scattering rates. It is then used as a proof-of-concept for GHz electron optics experiments in graphene. We introduce top-gated graphene field-effect capacitors as a platform to study ultralong wavelength plasmons characterized with a vector network analyzer. We simultaneously measure resistivity, capacitance and kinetic inductance. We observe a resonance at 40 GHz with a quality factor of two, corresponding to a plasmon of 100 µm wavelength. This result sets a milestone for the realization of resonant plasmonic devices. We finally move our attention to the QHBD in a bilayer graphene sample. DC transport and GHz noise measurements show that the elusive intrinsic breakdown field can be reached in graphene. Its signature is an abrupt increase of noise, with a superPoissonian Fano factor. We propose a magnetoexciton instability scenario as the origin of breakdown. These results show how progress in sample fabrication has enabled us to study new classes of ballistic devices, to explore new fundamental phenomena and to envision more complex experiments like: time-of-flight measurements of acoustic phonons, characterization of plasmon propagation in bipolar superlattices, or breakdown in single layer graphene. In terms of applications, this thesis paves the way for room-temperature electron optics devices, plasma-resonance-based THz detectors, and improvement of quantum Hall resistance standards
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  • HAL Id : tel-02697984, version 1

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Holger Graef. Dirac fermion optics and plasmonics in graphene microwave devices. Mesoscopic Systems and Quantum Hall Effect [cond-mat.mes-hall]. Sorbonne Universités; Nanyang Technological University, Singapour, 2019. English. ⟨tel-02697984⟩

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