Modulation of Contact Resistance between Metal and Graphene by Controlling the Graphene Edge, Contact Area, and Point Defects: An Ab Initio Study
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A systematic first-principles non-equilibrium Green's function study is conducted on the contact resistance between a series of metals (Au, Ag, Pt, Cu, Ni, and Pd) and graphene in the side contact geometry. Different factors such as the termination of the graphene edge, contact area, and point defect in contacted graphene are investigated. Notable differences are observed in structural configurations and electronic transport characteristics of these metal-graphene contacts, depending on the metal species and aforementioned influencing factors. It is found that the enhanced chemical reactivity of the graphene due to dangling bonds from either the unsaturated graphene edge or point defects strengthens the metal-graphene bonding, leading to a considerable contact resistance reduction for weakly interacting metals Au and Ag. For stronger interacting metals Pt and Cu, a slightly reduced contact resistance is found due to such influencing factors. However, the wetting metals Ni and Pd most strongly hybridize with graphene, exhibiting negligible dependence on the above influencing factors. This study provides guidance for the optimization of metal-graphene contacts at an atomic scale.