The hyperrelativistic quantum particles of graphene move at a speed close to that of light. Now, for the first time, an international team led by the Autonomous University of Madrid has managed to stop its movement with an indestructible “wall” built with hydrogen “bricks”. Advances can facilitate the integration of this material into electronic devices.
How do you stop things that cannot be stopped? An international team of scientists has successfully solved this mosaic problem by using atomic “bricks” to build a wall of hyperrelativistic electrons that can block the nucleus. Graphene.
The work has been published in the magazine Advanced materials The researchers came from the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), the University of Grenoble Alpes (France), the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (Portugal) and Aalto University (Finland). Specifically, they show how to manipulate a large number of hydrogen atoms together to create a wall through which it is difficult to penetrate electrons from graphene.
Experiments conducted at UAM Tunnel microscope, Has made it possible to use these walls to construct graphene nanostructures of arbitrarily complex shapes with sub-nanometer precision, with sizes ranging from 2 nanometers to 1 micron.
The developed method allows random erasure and reconstruction of nanostructures and can be implemented in different types of graphene. Experiments supported by theoretical calculations show that the created nanostructures can perfectly confine graphene’s electrons.
Can open one gap Electronics
“In this way, we managed to overcome the dream of opening challenge, namely opening the’hole’ or gap Electronics The author explained that there are adjustable values in graphene because this is defined by the size and shape of the nanostructures produced.
“They added that the method opens up many new and exciting possibilities because the created nanostructures behave like Graphene quantum dots They can be selectively coupled, which will enable us to use them in quantum simulators to deepen our understanding of quantum matter.”
The tunnel microscope image shows graphene quantum dots with impermeable walls made of hydrogen atoms. Image size: 30x30nm2 / UAM
In addition to being able to experiment with hyperrelativistic quantum particles, this discovery also has fundamental application significance.Can build a wall that can confine graphene electrons, so that this material has gap Modular electronics is the key to enabling it to be integrated into real electronic devices
Electrons are subatomic particles responsible for electrical transport.When circulating in graphene, electrons behave like Hyperrelativistic quantum particles (Technically speaking, it is a quasi-particle like Dirac). This is due to the unique honeycomb structure in which the carbon atoms constituting the pure two-dimensional material are arranged.
Therefore, the rules of the game that control the behavior of electrons in graphene are very special because they must also obey the laws of graphene. Quantum mechanics (Required for very small objects) and Hyperrelativistic physics (It is necessary for objects with negligible mass to move at a speed close to the speed of light).
For example, this led to the so-called Klein Paradox, Which means that these electrons can only be blocked by the atomic mutation wall. Otherwise, when they hit in a particular direction, they will pass through these walls regardless of their thickness or height.
This unique quality allows electrons to circulate freely in graphene, and is almost unaffected by various impurities that may exist in it, which gives this material excellent quality and can be used for Electronic equipment.
However, so much freedom of movement comes at a price, because this in turn makes controlling the movement of these electrons extremely complicated, and so far this has prevented the use of quantum confinement for selective opening in structures of a few nanometers in size.urgent need gap Electronics.
Tunnel microscope / UAM for experiment
Cortez Del Rio (E.), Mallet, P. Quantum confinement of Dirac quasiparticles in graphene patterned with sub-nanometer precision. Advanced materialshttps://doi.org/10.1002/adma.202001119