Researchers make artificial graphene

Researchers make "artificial graphene" - or at least a device that has the potential to behave like artificial graphene. They created a two-dimensional electron gas of very high purity confined in an AlGaAs/GaAs quantum well. On top of this, they grew a honeycomb network of nanosized pillars that modulate the electric potential in the two-dimensional electron gas, analogous to carbon ions in the graphene lattice. According to their calculations the electronic dispersion due to this hexagonal superlattice can be Dirac-like. Although the appearance of Dirac points in the electronic energy spectrum of such structures still awaits final experimental verification, the authors provide preliminary evidence that features in the observed spectrum are indeed consistent with the calculations.

Artificial Graphene may have some advantages over natural graphene - like high purity, spectrum tuning and shaping in geometries with perfect edges.

Posted: Jul 09,2009 by Ron Mertens