Graphene is a carbon consisting of one layer of carbon atoms. It is said to be an excellent conductor and thus offers potential in the electronics industry. Plus, it is said to be one of the strongest materials ever tested. And, it’s nearly transparent. But, according to those who have worked with this material, once the electrons move, they can’t be stopped.
Scientists at Rutgers University-New Brunswick claim they have found a solution to this challenge and have published a study in Nature Nanotechnology. The claim is that the researchers can electrically control the electrons. This ability should enable devices like a grapheme nano-scale transistor, or chemical and biological sensors, and other devices.
The control method used is based on control the voltage. The researchers send a voltage through a high-tech microscope tip the size of one atom. This tip creates a force field that traps electrons in graphene or modifies their trajectories, similar to the effect a lens has on light rays. Changing the voltage releases the electrons. Thus, the researchers have can, in effect, turn the electrons “on” and “off” like a switch.
This development paves the way for greater use of graphene in electronics products.
Rutgers University-New Brunswick