Regular nanoscale perforations in graphene (graphene antidot lattices, GALs) are known to lead to a gap in the energy spectrum, thereby paving a possible way towards many applications. This theoretical prediction relies on a perfect placement of identical perforations, a situation not likely to occur in the laboratory. Here, we present a systematic study of the effects of disorder in GALs. We consider both geometric and chemical disorder, and evaluate the density of states as well as the optical conductivity of disordered GALs. The theoretical method is based on an efficient algorithm for solving the time-dependent Schro¨dinger equation in a tight-binding representation of the graphene sheet [Yuan et al., Phys. Rev. B 82, 115448 (2010)], which allows us to consider GALs consisting of 6400 × 6400 carbon atoms. The central conclusion for all kinds of disorder is that the gaps found for pristine GALs do survive at a considerable amount of disorder, but disappear for very strong disorder. Geometric disorder is more detrimental to gap formation than chemical disorder. The optical conductivity shows a low-energy tail below the pristine GAL band gap due to disorder-introduced transitions.
Physical Review B (condensed Matter and Materials Physics), 2013, Vol 87, Issue 8