Scientists have developed a new method of characterizing graphene’s properties without applying disruptive electrical contacts, allowing them to investigate both the resistance and quantum capacitance of graphene and other two-dimensional materials. Researchers from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel’s Department of Physics reported their findings in the journal Physical Review Applied.
Graphene consists of a single layer of carbon atoms. It is transparent, harder than diamond and stronger than steel, yet flexible, and a significantly better conductor of electricity than copper. Since graphene was first isolated in 2004, scientists across the world have been researching its properties and the possible applications for the ultrathin material. Other two-dimensional materials with similarly promising fields of application also exist; however, little research has been carried out into their electronic structures.
No need for electrical contacts
Electrical contacts are usually used to characterize the electronic properties of graphene and other two-dimensional materials. However, these can significantly alter the materials’ properties. Professor Christian Schönenberger’s team from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel’s Department of Physics has now developed a new method of investigating these properties without applying contacts.
To do this, the scientists embedded graphene in the isolator boron nitride, placed it on a superconductor and coupled it with a microwave resonator. Both the electrical resistance and the quantum capacitance of the graphene affect the quality factor and resonance frequency of the resonator. Although these signals are very weak, they can be captured using superconducting resonators.
By comparing the microwave characteristics of resonators with and without encapsulated graphene, the scientists can determine both the electrical resistance and quantum capacitance. “These parameters are important in the determination of graphene’s exact properties and in the identification of limiting factors for its application,” explains Simon Zihlmann, a PhD student in Schönenberger’s group.
Also suitable for other two-dimensional materials
The boron nitride-encapsulated graphene served as a prototype material during the method’s development. Graphene integrated into other materials can be investigated in the same way. In addition, other two-dimensional materials can also be characterized without the use of electrical contacts; for example, the semiconductor molybdenum disulfide, which has applications in solar cells and optics.
Olivia Poisson | Universität Basel
Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation
19.01.2018 | Carnegie Institution for Science
Artificial agent designs quantum experiments
19.01.2018 | Universität Innsbruck
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy