Electrons go with the flow

Electrons go with the flow Johannes Gooth

However, electric currents in solids are formed by electrons. In metals, the electrons do not collide with each other, but they scatter with lattice defects. In conventional materials, the movement of electrons is therefore more akin to the motion of balls in a pinball machine.

Hydrodynamic electron flow can only be observed in high-purity quantum materials. An international team of members from the IBM Research Laboratory Zurich, the University of Hamburg and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids has now found signatures of electron hydrodynamics in the semimetal tungsten diphosphide.

The results were published in the journal Nature Communications. On closer inspection, it could be shown that the hydrodynamic behavior of the electrons is rooted in the strongly interacting quantum nature of the electron system.

In addition, it is surprising that these observations are consistent with mathematical techniques derived from string theory.

These techniques have been used to describe strongly interacting forms of quantum matter and predict that the conversion of any form of energy into thermal energy is fundamentally limited by quantum mechanics.

The experiments were made possible by the progress in the development of new materials and nanofabrication techniques.

Johannes Gooth

Nature Communications (“Electrical and thermal signatures of a hydrodynamic electron system in tungsten diphosphide”)
DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-06688-y

Media Contact

Dipl.-Übers. Ingrid Rothe Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

More Information:

https://www.cpfs.mpg.de

All latest news from the category: Materials Sciences

Materials management deals with the research, development, manufacturing and processing of raw and industrial materials. Key aspects here are biological and medical issues, which play an increasingly important role in this field.

innovations-report offers in-depth articles related to the development and application of materials and the structure and properties of new materials.

Back to home

Comments (0)

Write a comment

Newest articles

World’s first method

Successful surgery for a rare congenital heart disease “scimitar syndrome”. Scimitar syndrome, a rare congenital heart disease, involves an anomalous pulmonary venous return where the right pulmonary veins return to…

Improving HIV treatment in children and adolescents – the right way!

Globally, around 2.6 million children and adolescents are currently living with HIV, the majority of them in Africa. These young people are much more likely to experience treatment failure than…

Study shows promise for a universal influenza vaccine

OHSU-led research uses innovative vaccine platform to target interior of virus; scientists validate theory using 1918 flu virus. New research led by Oregon Health & Science University reveals a promising…

Partners & Sponsors