Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The World´s Thinnest Ratchet - Publication in “Nature Nanotechnology”

20.02.2013
A ratchet supports one-way traffic. One can pull it back and forth, but it only moves forwards. Mechanical ratchets, used to pull or hold heavy objects, are familiar examples. Also, some electronic devices are based on ratchets.

Transistors are made out of diodes, which rectify electrical currents: however hard one pushes electrons in both directions, they flow only in one. Now an international consortium consisting of research groups from Germany, Russia, Sweden, and the U.S., led by the experimental group of Prof. Dr. Sergey Ganichev from the University of Regensburg and supported by the theoretical group of Prof. Dr. Sergey Tarasenko (St. Petersburg) and Prof. Dr. Jaroslav Fabian (Regensburg), has demonstrated that electronic ratchets can be successfully scaled down to one-atom thick layers.

The researchers showed that graphene, a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice, supports a ratchet motion of electrons when placed in a magnetic field. They applied terahertz laser fields to push the electrons back and forth, while the magnetic field acted as a valve to let only those electrons moving in one direction go on, stopping the others. The results of the research group are reported in an issue of “Nature Nanotechnology” (DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2012.231).

Graphene may be the ultimate electronic material, possibly replacing silicon in electronic devices in the future. It has attracted worldwide attention from physicists, chemists, and engineers. Its discoverers, A. Geim and K. Novoselov, were awarded the physics Nobel Prize for it in 2010. The discovery of the ratchet motion in graphene greatly adds to the technological potential of this material and to the prospects of further miniaturization of electronic devices. Before carbon based electronics might take over from silicon many fundamental physical challenges need to be addressed.

In Regensburg, research activities on graphene are embedded in larger research programs, funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG). These are a PhD program on carbon based electronics (DFG-Research Training Group GRK 1570, spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Milena Grifoni) and a Collaborative Research Center (SFB 689, spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Dieter Weiss) funding more than 40 PhD students, as well as projects within a DFG Priority Programm (SPP 1459, spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Thomas Seyller, Chemnitz). The international cooperation on terahertz physics and technology is coordinated by the Regensburg Terahertz Center (TerZ, directed by Prof. Dr. Sergey Ganichev), also funded by the International Bureau of the German Ministry of Education and Research.

Title of the article in “Nature Nanotechnology”:
C. Drexler, S. Tarasenko, P. Olbrich, J. Karch, M. Hirmer, F. Müller, M. Gmitra, J. Fabian, R. Yakimova, S. Lara-Avila, S. Kubatkin, M. Wang, R. Vajtai, P. Ajayan, J. Kono, and S.D. Ganichev: Magnetic quantum ratchet effect in graphene, Nature Nanotechnology (DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2012.231).
More information on the research activities on grapheme in Regensburg:
www.physik.uni-regensburg.de/forschung/gk_carbonano/
www-app.uni-regensburg.de/Fakultaeten/Physik/sfb689/
www.spp1459.uni-erlangen.de/about-spp-1459/
Press Contact:
Prof. Dr. Sergey Ganichev
Universität Regensburg
Faculty of Physics
TerZ – Regensburg Terahertz Center
Tel.: +49 (0)941 943-2050
Sergey.Ganichev@physik.uni-regensburg.de

Alexander Schlaak | idw
Further information:
http://www.physik.uni-regensburg.de/TerZ/

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight
16.08.2017 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht Tracking a solar eruption through the solar system
16.08.2017 | American Geophysical Union

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>