, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 63-75
Date: 21 Nov 2012

Transport through quantum spin Hall insulator/metal junctions in graphene ribbons

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Abstract

Quantum spin Hall insulator/metal interfaces are formed in graphene ribbons with intrinsic spin-orbit coupling by selectively doping two regions creating a potential step. For a clean graphene ribbon, the transmission of the topological edge states through a n-n or p-p junction is perfect irrespective of the ribbon termination, width, and potential step parameters due to the orthogonality of incoming and outgoing edge channels. This is shown numerically for an arbitrary crystallographic orientation of the ribbon and proven analytically for zigzag and metallic armchair boundary conditions. In disordered ribbons, the orthogonality between left- and right-movers is in general destroyed and backscattering sets in. However, transmission approaches one by increasing the ribbon’s width, even in the presence of strong edge roughness.