, Volume 72, Issue 1, pp 1-24
Date: 07 Oct 2009

Electronic properties and quantum transport in Graphene-based nanostructures

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Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) represent a novel class of low-dimensional materials. All these graphene-based nanostructures are expected to display the extraordinary electronic, thermal and mechanical properties of graphene and are thus promising candidates for a wide range of nanoscience and nanotechnology applications. In this paper, the electronic and quantum transport properties of these carbon nanomaterials are reviewed. Although these systems share the similar graphene electronic structure, confinement effects are playing a crucial role. Indeed, the lateral confinement of charge carriers could create an energy gap near the charge neutrality point, depending on the width of the ribbon, the nanotube diameter, the stacking of the carbon layers regarding the different crystallographic orientations involved. After reviewing the transport properties of defect-free systems, doping and topological defects (including edge disorder) are also proposed as tools to taylor the quantum conductance in these materials. Their unusual electronic and transport properties promote these carbon nanomaterials as promising candidates for new building blocks in a future carbon-based nanoelectronics, thus opening alternatives to present silicon-based electronics devices.