Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Electronics: Graphene makes a magnetic switch

18.07.2013
Tiny nanoribbons of carbon could be used to make a magnetic field sensor for novel electronic devices

Researchers in Singapore have designed an electronic switch that responds to changes in a magnetic field. The device relies on graphene, a strong and flexible electricity-conducting layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb pattern.

Seng Ghee Tan of the A*STAR Data Storage Institute, along with colleagues at the National University of Singapore, used theoretical models to predict the properties of their proposed device, known as a magnetic field-effect transistor.

The transistor is based on two nanoribbons of graphene, each just a few tens of nanometers wide, which are joined end to end. The atoms along the edges of these nanoribbons are arranged in an ‘armchair’ configuration — a pattern that resembles the indented battlements of castle walls. If these edges were in a zigzag pattern, however, the material would have different electrical properties.

One of the nanoribbons in the team’s transistor acts as a metallic conductor that allows electrons to flow freely; the other, slightly wider, nanoribbon is a semiconductor. Under normal conditions, electrons cannot travel from one nanoribbon to the other because their quantum wavefunctions — the probability of where electrons are found within the materials — do not overlap.

A magnetic field, however, warps the distribution of electrons, changing their wavefunctions until they overlap and allowing current to flow from one nanoribbon to the other. Using an external field to change the electrical resistance of a conductor in this way is known as a magnetoresistance effect.

The team calculated how electrons would travel in the nanoribbons under the influence of a 10-tesla magnetic field — the rough equivalent of that produced by a large superconducting magnet — at a range of different temperatures.

Tan and colleagues found that larger magnetic fields allowed more current to flow, and the effect was more pronounced at lower temperatures. At 150 kelvin, for example, the magnetic field induced a very large magnetoresistance effect and current flowed freely. At room temperature, the effect declined slightly but still allowed a considerable current. At 300 kelvin, the magnetoresistance effect was approximately half as strong.

The researchers also discovered that as the voltage across the nanoribbons increased, the electrons had enough energy to force their way through the switch and the magnetoresistance effect declined.

Other researchers recently produced graphene nanoribbons with atomically precise edges, similar to those in the proposed design. Tan and his colleagues suggest that if similar manufacturing techniques were used to build their device, its properties could come close to matching their theoretical predictions.

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Data Storage Institute

Journal information

Kumar, S. B., Jalil, M. B. A. & Tan, S. G. High magnetoresistance in graphene nanoribbon heterojunction. Applied Physics Letters 101, 183111 (2012).

A*STAR Research | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.research.a-star.edu.sg/research/6695
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Waste from paper and pulp industry supplies raw material for development of new redox flow batteries
12.10.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Low-cost battery from waste graphite
11.10.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Osaka university researchers make the slipperiest surfaces adhesive

18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>