Research team finds bilayer graphene works as an insulator: Page 2 of 2

January 25, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Research team finds bilayer graphene works as an insulator
A research team led by physicists at the University of California, Riverside have identified an insulating property of “bilayer graphene” (BLG) formed when two graphene sheets are stacked in a special manner.

promising route – trilayer graphene and tetralayer graphene, which are likely to have much larger energy gaps that can be used for digital and infrared technologies. We already have begun working with these materials.”

A scanning electron microscope image of a graphene sheet (red) suspended between two electrodes. The length of the graphene sheet shown is about 1/100 of the width of a human hair. Image credit: Lau lab, UC Riverside.

New quantum particle

Allan MacDonald, the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair in the Department of Physics at The University of Texas at Austin and a coauthor on the research paper, noted that team has measured the mass of a new type of massive quantum particle that can be found only inside BLG crystals.

“The physics which gives these particles their mass is closely analogous to the physics which makes the mass of a proton inside an atomic nucleus very much larger than the mass of the quarks from which it is formed,” he said. “Our team’s particle is made of electrons, however, not quarks.”

MacDonald explained that the experiment the research team conducted was motivated by theoretical work which anticipated that new particles would emerge from the electron sea of a BLG crystal.

The physicists reported their experimental results in Nature Nanotechnology.

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