Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Rutgers Physicists Discover Novel Electronic Properties in Two-dimensional Carbon Structure

Graphene sample with electrodes, fabricated using electron beam lithography
Graphene sample with electrodes, fabricated using electron beam lithography

Abstract:
Previously predicted but unobserved interactions between massless particles may lead to speedy, powerful electronic devices

Rutgers Physicists Discover Novel Electronic Properties in Two-dimensional Carbon Structure

New Brunswick, NJ | Posted on October 16th, 2009

Rutgers researchers have discovered novel electronic properties in two-dimensional sheets of carbon atoms called graphene that could one day be the heart of speedy and powerful electronic devices.

The new findings, previously considered possible by physicists but only now being seen in the laboratory, show that electrons in graphene can interact strongly with each other. The behavior is similar to superconductivity observed in some metals and complex materials, marked by the flow of electric current with no resistance and other unusual but potentially useful properties. In graphene, this behavior results in a new liquid-like phase of matter consisting of fractionally charged quasi-particles, in which charge is transported with no dissipation.

In a paper issued online by the prestigious science journal Nature and slated for print publication in the coming weeks, physics professor Eva Andrei and her Rutgers colleagues note that the strong interaction between electrons, also called correlated behavior, had not been observed in graphene in spite of many attempts to coax it out. This led some scientists to question whether correlated behavior could even be possible in graphene, where the electrons are massless (ultra-relativistic) particles like photons and neutrinos. In most materials, electrons are particles that have mass.

"Our work demonstrated that earlier failures to observe correlated behavior were not due to the physical nature of graphene," said Eva Andrei, physics professor in the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences. "Rather, it was because of interference from the material which supported graphene samples and the type of electrical probes used to study it."

This finding should encourage scientists to further pursue graphene and related materials for future electronic applications, including replacements for today's silicon-based semiconductor materials. Industry experts expect silicon technology to reach fundamental performance limits in a little more than a decade.

The Rutgers physicists further describe how they observed the collective behavior of the ultra-relativistic charge carriers in graphene through a phenomenon known as the fractional quantum Hall effect (FQHE). The FQHE is seen when charge carriers are confined to moving in a two-dimensional plane and are subject to a perpendicular magnetic field. When interactions between these charge carriers are sufficiently strong they form new quasi-particles with a fraction of an electron's elementary charge. The FHQE is the quintessential signature of strongly correlated behavior among charge-carrying particles in two dimensions.

The FHQE is known to exist in semiconductor-based, two-dimensional electron systems, where the electrons are massive particles that obey conventional dynamics versus the relativistic dynamics of massless particles. However, it was not obvious until now that ultra-relativistic electrons in graphene would be capable of exhibiting collective phenomena that give rise to the FHQE. The Rutgers physicists were surprised that the FHQE in graphene is even more robust than in standard semiconductors.

Scientists make graphene patches by rubbing graphite - the same material in ordinary pencil lead - onto a silicon wafer, which is a thin slice of silicon crystal used to make computer chips. Then they run electrical pathways to the graphene patches using ordinary integrated circuit fabrication techniques. While scientists were able to investigate many properties of the resulting graphene electronic device, they were not able to induce the sought-after fractional quantum Hall effect.

Andrei and her group proposed that impurities or irregularities in the thin layer of silicon dioxide underlying the graphene were preventing the scientists from achieving the exacting conditions they needed. Postdoctoral fellow Xu Du and undergraduate student Anthony Barker were able to show that etching out several layers of silicon dioxide below the graphene patches essentially leaves an intact graphene strip suspended in mid-air by the electrodes. This enabled the group to demonstrate that the carriers in suspended graphene essentially propagate ballistically without scattering from impurities. Another crucial step was to design and fabricate a probe geometry that did not interfere with measurements as Andrei suspected earlier ones were doing. These proved decisive steps to observing the correlated behavior in graphene.

In the past few months, other academic and corporate research groups have reported streamlined graphene production techniques, which will propel further research and potential applications.

Andrei's collaborators were Xu Du, now on faculty at Stony Brook University; Ivan Skachko, a post-doctoral fellow; Fabian Duerr, a master's student; and Adina Luican, a doctoral student. The research was supported by the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter and Alcatel-Lucent.

####

About Rutgers
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national public research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher education. Rutgers is dedicated to teaching that meets the highest standards of excellence; to conducting research that breaks new ground; and to turning knowledge into solutions for local, national, and global communities.

As it was at our founding in 1766, the heart of our mission is preparing students to become productive members of society and good citizens of the world. Rutgers teaches across the full educational spectrum: preschool to precollege; undergraduate to graduate and postdoctoral; and continuing education for professional and personal advancement. Rutgers is New Jersey’s land-grant institution and one of the nation’s foremost research universities, and as such, we educate, make discoveries, serve as an engine of economic growth, and generate ideas for improving people’s lives.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Carl Blesch
732-932-7084 x616

Copyright © Rutgers

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

MIPT scientists revisit optical constants of ultrathin gold films October 20th, 2017

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

'Find the Lady' in the quantum world: International team of researchers presents method for quantum-mechanical swapping of positions October 18th, 2017

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Possible Futures

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

'Find the Lady' in the quantum world: International team of researchers presents method for quantum-mechanical swapping of positions October 18th, 2017

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Chip Technology

MIPT scientists revisit optical constants of ultrathin gold films October 20th, 2017

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics October 15th, 2017

Quantum manipulation power for quantum information processing gets a boost: Improving the efficiency of quantum heat engines involves reducing the number of photons in a cavity, ultimately impacting quantum manipulation power October 14th, 2017

Nanoelectronics

Nanometrics Announces Preliminary Results for the Third Quarter of 2017: Quarterly Results Impacted by Delays in Revenue Recognition on Multiple Systems into Japan October 12th, 2017

Seeing the next dimension of computer chips: Researchers image perfectly smooth side-surfaces of 3-D silicon crystals with a scanning tunneling microscope, paving the way for smaller and faster computing devices October 11th, 2017

Columbia engineers invent breakthrough millimeter-wave circulator IC October 6th, 2017

Tungsten offers nano-interconnects a path of least resistance: Crystalline tungsten shows insight and promise in addressing the challenges of electrical interconnects that have high resistivity at the nanoscale October 4th, 2017

Announcements

MIPT scientists revisit optical constants of ultrathin gold films October 20th, 2017

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

Spinning strands hint at folding dynamics: Rice University lab uses magnetic beads to model microscopic proteins, polymers October 17th, 2017

Quantum nanoscience

'Find the Lady' in the quantum world: International team of researchers presents method for quantum-mechanical swapping of positions October 18th, 2017

What can be discovered at the junction of physics and chemistry October 6th, 2017

Energy against the current on a quantum scale, without contradicting the laws of physics: A piece of research in which the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has participated confirms that merely observing a flow of energy or particles can change its direction October 6th, 2017

Enhancing the sensing capabilities of diamonds with quantum properties: A simple method can give diamonds the special properties needed for quantum applications such as sensing magnetic fields September 24th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project