Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) have created a novel testbed to explore the behavior of electrons in a special class of materials called topological insulators, which could see applications in quantum computing.
Left, atomic structure of actual graphene nanoribbon. Middle, CO molecules mapped onto a copper surface to produce graphene structure. Right, scanning tunneling microscope image of the resulting artificial graphene nanoribbon. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)
in previous work, graphene nanoribbons — small strips of graphene — were shown to exhibit promising topological states. Inspired by this, the Argonne team constructed an artificial graphene testbed with atomic precision in hopes to further explore those topological effects.