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High electron mobility of graphene has enabled their application in high-frequency analogue devices but their gapless nature has hindered their use in digital switches. In contrast, the structural analogous, h-BN sheets and BN nanotubes (BNNTs) are wide band gap insulators. Here we show that the growth of electrically insulating BNNTs on graphene can enable the use of graphene as effective digital switches. These graphene-BNNT heterojunctions were characterized at room temperature by four-probe scanning tunneling microscopy (4-probe STM) under real-time monitoring of scanning electron microscopy (SEM). A switching ratio as high as 105 at a turn-on voltage as low as 0.5 V were recorded. Simulation by density functional theory (DFT) suggests that mismatch of the density of states (DOS) is responsible for these novel switching behaviors.

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© 2015 Springer Nature Publishing AG. Publisher’s version of record:

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Scientific Reports

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