Scientists Unlocked Graphene’s Superconducting Powers with a Twist and a Squeeze

By: | February 4th, 2019

Image by seagul via pixabay

Hailed with lot of extraordinary characteristics including being strongest and thinnest material ever discovered, being light, flexible and transparent, Graphene is no doubt a ‘wonder material’

Now in a big breakthrough, Columbia University-led team has developed a new method to finely tune adjacent layers of graphene to turn it in to a superconductor. Superconductor is a material that allows electricity to flow without resistance.

How they managed to make it a superconductor:

Researchers have discovered a new method to manipulate the electrical conductivity of Graphene. They placed one sheet of graphene over another, and then rotated the other sheet to a special orientation, or ‘magic angle’ and cooled the ensemble to a fraction of a degree above absolute zero. This twist radically changed the bilayer’s properties, firstly it turned it into an insulator and then into a superconductor, with the help of a stronger electric field.

“Our work demonstrates new ways to induce superconductivity in twisted bilayer graphene, in particular, achieved by applying pressure,” said Cory Dean, assistant professor of physics at Columbia and the study’s principal investigator. “It also provides critical first confirmation of last year’s MIT results — that bilayer graphene can exhibit electronic properties when twisted at an angle — and furthers our understanding of the system, which is extremely important for this new field of research.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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