Two researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have shown that the valley degree of freedom in graphene can be polarized through scattering off a line defect. Unlike previously proposed valley filters in graphene, which rely on confined structures that have proven hard to achieve experimentally, the present work is based on a naturally occurring line defect that has already been observed. The discovery was published in Physical Review Letters on March 28, 2011 and was also the subject of a separate Viewpoint article in Physics.
The band structure of graphene with its two valleys is shown in blue and red. Credit: Naval Research Laboratory
Valley refers to energy depressions in the band structure, which describes the energies of electron waves allowed by the symmetry of the crystal. For graphene, these regions form two pairs of cones that determine its low-bias response. As a large crystal momentum separates the two valleys, the valley degree of freedom is robust against slowly varying potentials, including scattering caused by low-energy acoustic phonons that often require low-bias electronic devices to operate at low temperatures typically only accessible in laboratories.
Valley polarization is achieved when electrons and holes in one valley are separated spatially from those in the other valley, but this is difficult to do as the two valleys have the same energies. It was found, however, that this spatial separation can be obtained in connected graphene structures that possess reflection symmetry along a particular crystallographic direction with no bonds crossing the reflection plane. This property turns out to be present in a recently observed line defect in graphene. The reflection symmetry only permits electron waves that are symmetric to pass through the line defect. Anti-symmetric waves are reflected. By projecting an arbitrary low-energy wave in graphene onto its symmetric component, one gets the transmission amplitude through this defect, which is strongly dependent on the valley. Electron and hole waves approaching the line defect at a high angle of incidence results in a polarization near 100%.
There is a long way to go before valleytronics can become a viable technology, explains Gunlycke. The recent advance, however, provides a realistic way to reach a crucial milestone in its development. This research was supported by the Office of Naval Research, both directly and through the Naval Research Laboratory.
Donna McKinney | EurekAlert!
Move over, lasers: Scientists can now create holograms from neutrons, too
21.10.2016 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus
20.10.2016 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
24.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
24.10.2016 | Life Sciences
24.10.2016 | Life Sciences