The Nobel Prize winning scientists Professor Andre Geim and Professor Kostya Novoselov have taken a major step forward towards creating electronics using the wonder material graphene. Writing in the journal Nature Physics, the academics, who discovered the world’s thinnest material at The University of Manchester in 2004, have revealed more about its electronic properties.
Research institutes and universities around the world are already looking at ways to build devices such as touch-screens, ultrafast transistors and photodetectors. Now new research from the creators of the material promises to accelerate that research, and potentially open up countless more electronic opportunities.
The researchers, from the universities of Manchester, Madrid and Moscow, have studied in detail the effect of interactions between electrons on the electronic properties of graphene.
They use extremely high-quality graphene devices that were prepared by suspending sheets of graphene in a vacuum. This way, most of the unwanted scattering mechanisms for electrons in graphene could be eliminated, thus enhancing the effect of electron-on-electron interaction. This is the first effect of its kind where the interactions between electrons in graphene could be clearly seen.
The reason for such unique electronic properties is that electrons in this material are very different from those in any other metals. They mimic massless relativistic particles — such as photons.
Due to such properties graphene is sometimes called ‘CERN on a desk’ — referencing the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. This is just one of the reasons why the electronic properties are particularly exciting and often bring surprises.
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