Tunable high workfunction contacts: Doped graphene

Merid Legesse*, Sergey N. Rashkeev, Feras Al-Dirini, Fahhad H. Alharbi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Contact electrodes with high work functions can enable significant enhancement in optoelectronic device performance due to their important role in efficient extracting/injecting carriers especially from optically active materials with high electron affinity or deep valence band edge, such as CdTe and some perovskites. With such materials becoming increasingly important in emerging solar cell technologies, the need for high work function electrodes has become of timely importance. In this work, p-doped graphene is investigated using first principle calculations, as a potential high work function contact electrode material for optoelectronic device applications. We found that chemical doping based on the adsorption of different non-metallic adatoms on graphene allows tuning the work function which can reach as high as 5.76 eV. A range of p-dopant adatoms, with varying doping concentrations, was investigated and we showed that the largest change of the work function is caused by chlorine and bromine dopants: a 4% concentration of Cl and Br dopants results in an increase of the work function of graphene from 4.38 eV to 5.76 eV and 5.71 eV, respectively. Furthermore, the calculations show that this significant increase in graphene's work function is mainly due to the charge transfer from graphene to p-dopant adatoms, which increases the concentration of holes at the graphene surface, and hence, increases its work function. We also analyzed the stability conditions for absorbed halogen adatoms on graphite. In particular, we found that halogen molecules formation process should be significantly inhibited by electrostatic repulsion between charged adatoms which provides additional barrier for them to get closer to react. These findings provide valuable guidance to experimental efforts towards the realization of tunable high work function graphene-based electrodes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number144893
JournalApplied Surface Science
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.


  • Band gap
  • Contact electrodes
  • Doped Graphene
  • Graphene
  • Optoelectronic device
  • Work function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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