Ballistic transport, chiral anomaly, and emergence of the neutral electron-hole plasma in graphene

H. C. Kao, M. Lewkowicz, B. Rosenstein

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37 Citations (Scopus)


The process of coherent creation of particle-hole excitations by an electric field in graphene is quantitatively described using a dynamic "first-quantized" approach. We calculate the evolution of current density, number of pairs, and energy in ballistic regime using the tight-binding model. The series in electric field strength E up to third order in both dc and ac are calculated. We show how the physics far from the two Dirac points enters various physical quantities in linear response and how it is related to the chiral anomaly. The third harmonic generation and the imaginary part of conductivity are obtained. It is shown that at certain time scale tnl ∝E-1/2 the physical behavior dramatically changes and the perturbation theory breaks down. Beyond the linear-response physics is explored using an exact solution of the first-quantized equations. While for small electric fields the I-V curve is linear characterized by the universal minimal resistivity σ=π/2 (e2 /h), at t> tnl the conductivity grows fast. The copious pair creation (with rate E3/2), analogous to Schwinger's electron-positron pair creation from vacuum in QED, leads to creation of the electron-hole plasma at ballistic times of order tnl. This process is terminated by a relaxational recombination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035406
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jul 7

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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