Researchers create tunable superconductivity in magic-angle twisted trilayer graphene

When two sheets of graphene are stacked atop each other at just the right angle, the layered structure morphs into an unconventional superconductor, allowing electric currents to pass through without resistance or wasted energy. This “magic-angle” transformation in bilayer graphene was observed for the first time in 2018 in the group of Pablo Jarillo-Herrero at MIT. Since then, scientists have searched for other materials that can be similarly twisted into superconductivity, but for the most part, no other twisted material has exhibited superconductivity other than the original twisted bilayer graphene.

Stacking order imageIllustrations of A-tw-A stacking (a) and A-tw-B stacking (b). Image from Nature

In a recent paper, Jarillo-Herrero and his group reported observing superconductivity in a sandwich of three graphene sheets, the middle layer of which is twisted at a new angle with respect to the outer layers. This new trilayer configuration reportedly exhibits superconductivity that is more robust than its bilayer counterpart.

Scientists discover important new property for graphene

MIT researchers and colleagues have discovered a new and important electronic property of graphene. The work, which involves structures composed of atomically thin layers of materials that are also biocompatible, could usher in new, faster information-processing paradigms. One potential application is in neuromorphic computing, which aims to replicate the neuronal cells in the body responsible for everything from behavior to memories.

“Graphene-based heterostructures continue to produce fascinating surprises. Our observation of unconventional ferroelectricity in this simple and ultra-thin system challenges many of the prevailing assumptions about ferroelectric systems and it may pave the way for an entire generation of new ferroelectrics materials,” says Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics at MIT and leader of the work, which involved a collaboration with five other MIT faculty from three departments.

International team develops ultrasensitive graphene-based microwave detector

A joint international research team, including teams from POSTECH of South Korea, Raytheon BBN Technologies, Harvard University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S., Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology in Spain, and the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan, has developed ultrasensitive sensors that can detect microwaves with the highest theoretically possible sensitivity. The research findings are drawing attention as an enabling technology for commercializing next-gen technologies like quantum computers.

Graphene-based Josephson junction microwave bolometer imageMicrowave bolometer based on graphene josephson junction. Image credit: Raytheon BBN Technologies and MIT

Microwave is used in a wide range of scientific and technological fields, including mobile communications, radar, and astronomy. Currently, microwave power can be detected using a device called bolometer. A bolometer usually consists of three materials: Electromagnetic absorption material, a material that converts electromagnetic waves into heat, and a material that converts the generated heat into electrical resistance. The bolometer calculates the amount of electromagnetic waves absorbed using the changes in the electrical resistance. Using the semiconductor-based diodes such as silicon and gallium arsenide in the bolometer, the sensitivity of the state-of-the-art commercial bolometer operating at room temperature is limited at 1 nanowatt (1 billionth of a watt) by averaging for a second.

MIT team reports new roll-to-roll process for production of large sheets of high-quality graphene

Researchers at MIT have developed a new roll-to-roll production process for large sheets of high-quality graphene, which the team says could lead to ultra-lightweight, flexible solar cells, and to new classes of light-emitting devices and other thin-film electronics.

MIT develops roll-to-roll process for graphene production image

The new manufacturing process, which the team says should be relatively easy to scale up for industrial production, involves an intermediate “buffer” layer of material that is key to the technique’s success. The buffer allows the ultrathin graphene sheet, less than a nanometer (billionth of a meter) thick, to be easily lifted off from its substrate, allowing for rapid roll-to-roll manufacturing.

MIT team finds ‘twisted’ graphene getting weirder at ‘magical angle’

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have previously found a particularly strange pattern in the “twisted” graphene structure, and now they’ve studied it more closely and found that the more layers it has, the better it will work.

Graphene is a 2D carbon nanomaterial consisting of a hexagonal hexagonal grid of a hexagonal structure of carbon atoms with a sp2 hybrid orbit. This makes them functionally two-dimensional, because the electrons that move through them can only move forward/backward and sideways, not above and below. This makes graphene very conductive.