Electrons in a graphene superlattice behave like in no other material

Manchester University's graphene Nobel laureate Sir Andre Geim, together with Leonid Levitov from MIT discovered that electrons in a graphene superlattice move at a controllable angle to applied fields - this is like sailboats that sail diagonally to the wind.

A graphene superlattice is made from a sheet of graphene aligned on top of a sheet of boron nitride. This material behave as a semiconductor (unlike graphene itself which is a superconductor). The researchers found that the electrons in the new material behave as neutrinos that acquired a notable mass. This effect has no known analog in particle physics.

This is not just a theoretical achievement. Graphene superlattices can be used to build transistors as they are semiconductors. In fact, the two researchers demonstrated such a transistor, which will be far more energy efficient compares to silicon transistors.

Posted: Sep 13,2014 by Ron Mertens