Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Experiments bolster theory of how electrons cool in graphene

Matt Graham
An illustration of how a heated electron cools in graphene. The electron slowly cools by emitting regular phonons, illustrated by zigzags down a Dirac Cone (a visualization of graphene's electronic band structure). When the electron hits a defect, it bounces off the lattice - a "supercollision" - which speeds up the cooling process.
Matt Graham

An illustration of how a heated electron cools in graphene. The electron slowly cools by emitting regular phonons, illustrated by zigzags down a Dirac Cone (a visualization of graphene's electronic band structure). When the electron hits a defect, it bounces off the lattice - a "supercollision" - which speeds up the cooling process.

Abstract:
It's a basic tenet of physics that scientists are trying to explain in graphene, single-atom thick sheets of carbon: When electrons are excited, or heated, how quickly do they relax, or cool?

Experiments bolster theory of how electrons cool in graphene

Ithaca, NY | Posted on December 3rd, 2012

A research team supported by the Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science has shed some light on the topic through the first known direct measurements of hot electrons cooling down in graphene.

The team, which published its findings online Dec. 2 in the journal Nature Physics, includes lead researcher Paul McEuen, the Kavli Institute director and Goldwin Smith Professor of Physics; first author Matt Graham, a Kavli postdoctoral fellow; and co-authors Jiwoong Park, assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology and Kavli member; Dan Ralph, Horace White Professor of Physics and Kavli member; and Su-Fei Shen, Ralph's former graduate student.

When electrons travel through graphene, they create a quantum lattice vibration, called a phonon. In doing so, the difference in energy the electron emits must equal the amount gained by the phonon; this is the "cooling" that happens as the system is returning to its equilibrium state, and this movement of electrons is at the heart of understanding how electronic devices work.

The new Cornell experiment supports a previous theory that electrons in graphene experience "supercollisions" as they cool -- they bump into defects in the crystal lattice, imparting their momentum to the defects, thereby making the cooling process much faster than if the graphene were a perfectly repeating crystal.

"The remarkable thing about the theory was it predicted all kinds of details, and it got it all right," McEuen said.

Watching electrons move through graphene took some novel experimental legwork. Graham and colleagues conceived a setup in which they shot very short laser pulses -- about 100 femtoseconds apart -- at a piece of conventionally grown graphene.

They observed the temperature of the graphene as it heated and cooled at a p-n junction, which is the interface at which electrons travel between two semiconductors. By tracking the magnitude of the current passing through the junction, they essentially used the junction as a tiny thermometer.

Heating the junction with an initial laser pulse, they hit it with a second pulse at specific time delays, comparing the crossover of temperatures. This technique allowed the team to measure the temperature of the system with sub-picosecond time resolution and within a few kelvins of accuracy. Their results agreed very well with the supercollision theory of the rate at which electrons cool in graphene.

The results provide further insights into the fundamental nature of graphene so it can one day be used in anything from photodetectors to non-silicon transistors, McEuen said. It is already well known that graphene shows promise for next-generation electronics because of its near-perfect conductivity, transparency and tensile strength.

The work was supported by the Kavli Institute, the National Science Foundation through the Center for Nanoscale Systems, the MARCO Focused Research Center on Materials, Structures and Devices, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media Contact:
Syl Kacapyr
(607) 255-7701


Cornell Chronicle:
Anne Ju
(607) 255-9735

Copyright © Cornell University

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

Graphene/ Graphite

Strem Chemicals and Dotz Nano Ltd. Sign Distribution Agreement for Graphene Quantum Dots Collaboration February 21st, 2017

Oxford Instruments announces Dr Brad Ramshaw of Cornell University, as winner of the 2017 Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize February 20th, 2017

Graphene foam gets big and tough: Rice University's nanotube-reinforced material can be shaped, is highly conductive February 13th, 2017

Physics

Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms: In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport February 20th, 2017

Research reveals novel quantum state in strange insulating materials February 14th, 2017

Sorting machine for atoms:Researchers at the University of Bonn clear a further hurdle on the path to creating quantum computers February 10th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices February 20th, 2017

Engineers shrink microscope to dime-sized device February 17th, 2017

Francis Alexander Named Deputy Director of Brookhaven Lab's Computational Science Initiative February 16th, 2017

Good vibrations help reveal molecular details: Rice University scientists combine disciplines to pinpoint small structures in unlabeled molecules February 15th, 2017

Discoveries

Tiny nanoclusters could solve big problems for lithium-ion batteries February 21st, 2017

Oxford Instruments announces Dr Brad Ramshaw of Cornell University, as winner of the 2017 Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize February 20th, 2017

Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms: In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport February 20th, 2017

'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices February 20th, 2017

Announcements

Tiny nanoclusters could solve big problems for lithium-ion batteries February 21st, 2017

Strem Chemicals and Dotz Nano Ltd. Sign Distribution Agreement for Graphene Quantum Dots Collaboration February 21st, 2017

Oxford Instruments announces Dr Brad Ramshaw of Cornell University, as winner of the 2017 Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize February 20th, 2017

Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms: In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport February 20th, 2017

Military

'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices February 20th, 2017

Engineers shrink microscope to dime-sized device February 17th, 2017

Graphene foam gets big and tough: Rice University's nanotube-reinforced material can be shaped, is highly conductive February 13th, 2017

Meta-lenses bring benchtop performance to small, hand-held spectrometer: Game-changing nanostructure-based lenses allow smaller devices, increased functionality February 9th, 2017

Grants/Sponsored Research/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Oxford Instruments announces Dr Brad Ramshaw of Cornell University, as winner of the 2017 Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize February 20th, 2017

Nominations Invited for $250,000 Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience: Major international prize recognizes a visionary nanotechnology researcher February 20th, 2017

'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices February 20th, 2017

Good vibrations help reveal molecular details: Rice University scientists combine disciplines to pinpoint small structures in unlabeled molecules February 15th, 2017

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices February 20th, 2017

Liquid metal nano printing set to revolutionize electronics: Creating integrated circuits just atoms thick February 18th, 2017

Research opens door to smaller, cheaper, more agile communications tech February 16th, 2017

1,000 times more efficient nano-LED opens door to faster microchips February 5th, 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