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Direct Imaging of Graphene Improves Understanding of Properties

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 05:51AM

There are several mysteries surrounding the wonder material, graphene. This atom-thick sheet of carbon is extremely strong, flexible, and conductive, which makes it a prime material for electronics. Exactly how it is such a good conductor is still being debated, but researchers at Berkeley Lab and the University of California, Berkeley have recently made some important observations.

It has already been determined that part of the reason graphene conducts electricity so fell is because the electrons behave as though they are massless. This enables them to reach relativistic speeds that are unobtainable in other materials. What the recent research determined though is how the relativistic electrons interact. Some theories suggest the electrons do not react with each other to achieve this conductivity while others suggest electron-electron interactions are required. By inserting a charge impurity into the graphene, the researchers were able to confirm the electron-electron interactions do occur and are required.

Information like this will be critical for the development of electronic technology based on graphene. It allows researchers to know how strongly charge impurities affect electrons traveling on graphene, and thus how critical it is to avoid the impurities, or to implant them for new technologies.

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