Valley relaxation in graphene due to charged impurities
WoS ID: 000358031300003
Scopus ID: 84938931938
Monolayer graphene is an example of materials with multivalley electronic structure. In such materials, the valley index is being considered as an information carrier. Consequently, relaxationmechanisms leading to loss of valley information are of interest. Here, we calculate the rate of valley relaxation induced by charged impurities in graphene. A special model of graphene is applied, where the p(z) orbitals are two-dimensional Gaussian functions, with a spatial extension characterized by an effective Bohr radius a(eB). We obtain the valley relaxation rate by solving the Boltzmann equation, for the case of noninteracting electrons, as well as for the case when the impurity potential is screened due to electron-electron interaction. For the latter case, we take into account local-field effects and evaluate the dielectric matrix in the random phase approximation. Our main findings are as follows: (i) The valley relaxation rate is proportional to the electronic density of states at the Fermi energy. (ii) Charged impurities located in the close vicinity of the graphene plane, at distance d less than or similar to 0.3 angstrom, are much more efficient in inducing valley relaxation than those farther away, the effect of the latter being suppressed exponentially with increasing graphene-impurity distance d. (iii) Both in the absence and in the presence of electron-electron interaction, the valley relaxation rate shows pronounced dependence on the effective Bohr radius aeB. The trends are different in the two cases: In the absence (presence) of screening, the valley relaxation rate decreases (increases) for increasing effective Bohr radius. This last result highlights that a quantitative calculation of the valley relaxation rate should incorporate electron-electron interactions as well as an accurate knowledge of the electronic wave functions on the atomic length scale.