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1D Channels Found in Graphene Could be Used for Valleytronics

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 02:35PM

There are many possibilities for what the future of computing technology will be, from spintronics and optical computers to different kinds of quantum computers. Another possibility is valleytronics, which is a relatively new field of science. Now researchers at Berkeley Lab have discovered that graphene can contain one dimensional conducting channels that are desirable for this technology.

Valleytronics involve the movement of electrons through a 2D semiconductor as waves with two energy valleys. These valleys can then be described with a distinct momentum and quantum valley number, with the latter number being able to store information. Recent work has suggested that the domain walls in graphene could act as 1D conducting channels for electrons that would preserve electron valleys. This is in contrast to the edges of graphene that mix the valleys. The Berkeley researchers' work confirms that this is the case, at least at low temperatures.

The next step for this work is to increase the ballistic length of the channels, as this will allow for the creation of electron valley filters and other means of manipulating electron valleys. One application for valleytronics may be in quantum computers, but only time will tell.

Source: Berkeley Lab

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