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Collapse of the vacuum in hexagonal graphene quantum dots: A comparative study between tight-binding and mean-field Hubbard models
In this paper, we perform a systematic study on the electronic, magnetic, and transport properties of the hexagonal graphene quantum dots (GQDs) with armchair edges in the presence of a charged impurity using two different configurations: (1) a central Coulomb potential and (2) a positively charged carbon vacancy. The tight-binding and the half-filled extended Hubbard models are numerically solved and compared with each other in order to reveal the effect of electron interactions and system sizes. Numerical results point out that off-site Coulomb repulsion leads to an increase in the critical coupling constant to beta(c) = 0.6 for a central Coulomb potential. This critical value of beta is found to be independent of the GQD size, reflecting its universality even in the presence of electron-electron interactions. In addition, a sudden downshift in the transmission peaks shows a clear signature of the transition from subcritical beta < beta(c) to the supercritical beta > beta(c) regime. On the other hand, for a positively charged vacancy, collapse of the lowest bound state occurs at beta(c) = 0.7 for the interacting case. Interestingly, the local magnetic moment, induced by a bare carbon vacancy, is totally quenched when the vacancy is subcritically charged, whereas the valley splittings in electron and hole channels continue to exist in both regimes.