Measurement of the optical conductivity of graphene

Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Nov 7;101(19):196405. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.101.196405. Epub 2008 Nov 7.


Optical reflectivity and transmission measurements over photon energies between 0.2 and 1.2 eV were performed on single-crystal graphene samples on a SiO2 substrate. For photon energies above 0.5 eV, graphene yielded a spectrally flat optical absorbance of (2.3+/-0.2)%. This result is in agreement with a constant absorbance of pialpha, or a sheet conductivity of pie2/2h, predicted within a model of noninteracting massless Dirac fermions. This simple result breaks down at lower photon energies, where both spectral and sample-to-sample variations were observed. This "nonuniversal" behavior is explained by including the effects of doping and finite temperature, as well as contributions from intraband transitions.