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Towards a quantum resistance standard based on epitaxial graphene

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The quantum Hall effect1 allows the international standard for resistance to be defined in terms of the electron charge and Planck's constant alone. The effect comprises the quantization of the Hall resistance in two-dimensional electron systems in rational fractions of RK = h/e2 = 25 812.807 557(18) Ω, the resistance quantum2. Despite 30 years of research into the quantum Hall effect, the level of precision necessary for metrology—a few parts per billion—has been achieved only in silicon and iiiv heterostructure devices3,4,5. Graphene should, in principle, be an ideal material for a quantum resistance standard6, because it is inherently two-dimensional and its discrete electron energy levels in a magnetic field (the Landau levels7) are widely spaced. However, the precisions demonstrated so far have been lower than one part per million8. Here, we report a quantum Hall resistance quantization accuracy of three parts per billion in monolayer epitaxial graphene at 300 mK, four orders of magnitude better than previously reported. Moreover, by demonstrating the structural integrity and uniformity of graphene over hundreds of micrometres, as well as reproducible mobility and carrier concentrations across a half-centimetre wafer, these results boost the prospects of using epitaxial graphene in applications beyond quantum metrology.

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Figure 1: Sample morphology and layout.
Figure 2: Quantum Hall effect in epitaxial graphene.
Figure 3: Determination of Hall resistance quantization accuracy.

Change history

  • 23 February 2010

    In the version of this Letter initially published online, in the penultimate sentence of the first paragraph, '26 meV' should have been '36 meV'. This error has been corrected in all versions of the text.


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The authors would like to thank L. Walldén, T. Löfwander, F. Lombardi, J. Gallop and T. Claeson for stimulating discussions and S. Giblin and J. Williams for help with experiments. We are grateful to the NPL Strategic research programme, Swedish Research Council and Foundation for Strategic Research, European Union FP7 SINGLE, UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council grant no. EP/G041954 and the Science & Innovation Award EP/G014787 for financial support.

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S.K., A.T. and V.F. conceived and designed the experiments. A.T., S.L., A.K., S.P., O.K., T.J. and S.K. performed the experiments. R.Y. and M.S. contributed materials. A.T., V.F. and S.K. analysed the data and co-wrote the paper. All authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Alexander Tzalenchuk.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Tzalenchuk, A., Lara-Avila, S., Kalaboukhov, A. et al. Towards a quantum resistance standard based on epitaxial graphene. Nature Nanotech 5, 186–189 (2010).

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