Researchers develop electrically tunable graphene device to study rare physics

An international research team, led by The University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute (NGI), has developed a tunable graphene-based platform that allows for fine control over the interaction between light and matter in the terahertz (THz) spectrum, revealing rare phenomena known as exceptional points. The team also included researchers from Pennsylvania State University and Turkey's Bilkent University and Izmir Institute of Technology.

The researchers estimate that this work could advance optoelectronic technologies to better generate, control and sense light and potentially communications. They demonstrated a way to control THz waves, which exist at frequencies between those of microwaves and infrared waves. The findings could contribute to the development of beyond-5G wireless technology for high-speed communication networks.

Graphene assists in observing the elusive Schwinger effect

Researchers at The University of Manchester, MIT and other international collaborators have succeeded in observing the so-called Schwinger effect, an elusive process that normally occurs only in cosmic events. By applying high currents through specially designed graphene-based devices, the team - based at the National Graphene Institute - succeeded in producing particle-antiparticle pairs from a vacuum.

A vacuum is assumed to be completely empty space, without any matter or elementary particles. However, it was predicted by Nobel laureate Julian Schwinger 70 years ago that intense electric or magnetic fields can break down the vacuum and spontaneously create elementary particles.

India’s first graphene innovation center to be established in Kerala

It was recently reported that India’s first innovation center for graphene will be set up in Kerala by the Digital University Kerala (DUK), along with Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET) in Thrissur, for an investment of Rs 86.41 crore (over USD$11.5 million). Tata Steel Limited is set to be the industrial partner of the center.

The chief investigators of the project, who will also lead it are Dr. AP James of DUK and Dr. A Seema of C-MET. The main collaborators include scientists from the National Graphene Institute, University of Manchester, and other industrial partners from around the world.

Researchers demonstrate Doppler effect and sonic boom in graphene devices

A team of researchers from universities in Loughborough, Nottingham, Manchester, Lancaster and Kansas (US) has revealed that sonic boom and Doppler-shifted sound waves can be created in a graphene transistor.

When a police car speeds past you with its siren blaring, you hear a distinct change in the frequency of the siren’s noise. This is the Doppler effect. When a jet aircraft’s speed exceeds the speed of sound (about 760 mph), the pressure it exerts upon the air produces a shock wave which can be heard as a loud supersonic boom or thunderclap. This is the Mach effect. The scientists discovered that a quantum mechanical version of these phenomena occurs in an electronic transistor made from high-purity graphene.

Graphene 'smart surfaces' display a wide range of tunability

Researchers at The University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute have created optical devices with a unique range of tunability, covering the entire electromagnetic spectrum, including visible light.

Multispectral graphene-based electro-optical surfaces image

The new study lists the possible applications for this ‘smart surface’ technology, that range from next-generation display devices to dynamic thermal blankets for satellites and multi-spectral adaptive camouflage.