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Spectroscopic ellipsometry of graphene and an exciton-shifted van Hove peak in absorption

Physical Review B
American Physical Society
Publication Date
  • Physics


We demonstrate that optical transparency of any two-dimensional system with a symmetric electronic spectrum is governed by the fine structure constant and suggest a simple formula that relates a quasiparticle spectrum to an optical absorption of such a system. These results are applied to graphene deposited on a surface of oxidized silicon for which we measure ellipsometric spectra, extract optical constants of a graphene layer and reconstruct the electronic dispersion relation near the K point using optical transmission spectra. We also present spectroscopic ellipsometry analysis of graphene placed on amorphous quartz substrates and report a pronounced peak in ultraviolet absorption at 4.6 eV because of a van Hove singularity in graphene's density of states. The peak is asymmetric and downshifted by 0.5 eV probably due to excitonic effects.

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