Alkaline earth atom doping-induced changes in the electronic and magnetic properties of graphene: a density functional theory study

Ace Christian F. Serraon, Julie Anne D. Del Rosario, Po Ya Abel Chuang, Meng Nan Chong, Yoshitada Morikawa, Allan Abraham B. Padama, Joey D. Ocon

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    Density functional theory was used to investigate the effects of doping alkaline earth metal atoms (beryllium, magnesium, calcium and strontium) on graphene. Electron transfer from the dopant atom to the graphene substrate was observed and was further probed by a combined electron localization function/non-covalent interaction (ELF/NCI) approach. This approach demonstrates that predominantly ionic bonding occurs between the alkaline earth dopants and the substrate, with beryllium doping having a variant characteristic as a consequence of electronegativity equalization attributed to its lower atomic number relative to carbon. The ionic bonding induces spin-polarized electronic structures and lower workfunctions for Mg-, Ca-, and Sr-doped graphene systems as compared to the pristine graphene. However, due to its variant bonding characteristic, Be-doped graphene exhibits non-spin-polarized p-type semiconductor behavior, which is consistent with previous works, and an increase in workfunction relative to pristine graphene. Dirac half-metal-like behavior was predicted for magnesium doped graphene while calcium doped and strontium doped graphene were predicted to have bipolar magnetic semiconductor behavior. These changes in the electronic and magnetic properties of alkaline earth doped graphene may be of importance for spintronic and other electronic device applications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6268-6283
    Number of pages16
    JournalRSC Advances
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2021

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