One scientist’s trash is another’s treasure:

While making materials samples to pursue their own research goals, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory discovered that an unwanted byproduct of their experiments was an extremely high-quality and difficult-to-obtain substance sought after by scientists researching layered materials.

Layered Graphene with a Twist Displays Unique Quantum Confinement in 2-D

Bilayer graphene with one of the two layers twisted displayed unique resonant electronic behavior. Understanding how electrons move in such 2-D materials could shed light on how to manipulate them for quantum computing and communication.

Quantum tunneling in graphene advances the age of terahertz wireless communications

Scientists from MIPT, Moscow Pedagogical State University and the University of Manchester have created a highly sensitive terahertz detector based on the effect of quantum-mechanical tunneling in graphene. The sensitivity of the device is already superior to commercially available analogs based on semiconductors and superconductors, which opens up prospects for applications of the graphene detector in wireless communications, security systems, radio astronomy, and medical diagnostics. The research results are published in a high-rank journal Nature Communications.

New way to control electrical charge in 2D materials: Put a flake on it

Physicists at Washington University in St. Louis have discovered how to locally add electrical charge to an atomically thin graphene device by layering flakes of another thin material, alpha-RuCl3, on top of it. A paper published with scientists at Boston College describes the charge transfer process in detail. Gaining control of the flow of electrical current through atomically thin materials is important to potential future applications in photovoltaics or computing.

New Platform Generates Hybrid Light-Matter Excitations in Highly Charged Graphene

Columbia University researchers report that they have achieved plasmonically active graphene with record-high charge density without an external gate. They accomplished this by exploiting novel interlayer charge transfer with a two-dimensional electron-acceptor known as -RuCl3. “This work allows us to use graphene as a plasmonic material without metal gates or voltage sources, making it possible to create stand-alone graphene plasmonic structures for the first time,” said Mechanical Engineering Prof. James Hone.

Charges Cascading Along a Molecular Chain

Removing one charged molecule from a one-dimensional array causes the others to alternately turn ‘on’ or ‘off,’ paving the way for information transfer in tiny circuits

Automating 2-D Material Exfoliation with Suji Park

Park, a staff researcher at Brookhaven Lab’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials, is designing and building an automated system to generate high-quality ultrathin “flakes,” which can be stacked into layered structures that are essentially new materials.

All together now: Experiments with twisted 2D materials catch electrons behaving collectively

A team led by the University of Washington reports that carefully constructed stacks of graphene — a 2D form of carbon — can exhibit highly correlated electron properties. The team also found evidence that this type of collective behavior likely relates to the emergence of exotic magnetic states.

Graphene expert comments on the creation of an extremely tiny magnetic field detector

“The research group from the University of Basel has recently created an ultracompact superconducting quantum interference device — aka SQUID, where the record miniaturization is achieved by using next-generation materials: bilayer graphene-based van der Waals heterostructures. SQUIDs usually consist of two…

New Device Can Measure Toxic Lead Within Minutes

Rutgers researchers have created a miniature device for measuring trace levels of toxic lead in sediments at the bottom of harbors, rivers and other waterways within minutes – far faster than currently available laboratory-based tests, which take days. The affordable lab-on-a-chip device could also allow municipalities, water companies, universities, K-12 schools, daycares and homeowners to easily and swiftly test their water supplies. The research is published in the IEEE Sensors Journal.

Henriksen lands CAREER grant to chase electron effects

Erik Henriksen, assistant professor of physics in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has been awarded a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award by the National Science Foundation. His grant, expected to total $850,000 over the next five years, is for research that explores many-particle interactions in graphene and other single-atom-thick materials.

Quantum Materials Quest Could Benefit From Graphene That Buckles

Graphene, an extremely thin two-dimensional layer of the graphite used in pencils, buckles when cooled while attached to a flat surface, resulting in beautiful pucker patterns that could benefit the search for novel quantum materials and superconductors, according to Rutgers-led research in the journal Nature. Quantum materials host strongly interacting electrons with special properties, such as entangled trajectories, that could provide building blocks for super-fast quantum computers. They also can become superconductors that could slash energy consumption by making power transmission and electronic devices more efficient.

Joined nano-triangles pave the way to magnetic carbon materials

Graphene triangles with an edge length of only a few atoms behave like peculiar quantum magnets. When two of these nano-triangles are joined, a “quantum entanglement” of their magnetic moments takes place: the structure becomes antiferromagnetic. This could be a breakthrough for future magnetic materials, and another step towards spintronics. An international group led by Empa researchers recently published the results in the journal “Angewandte Chemie”.

Science Snapshots from Berkeley Lab: 3D nanoparticles and magnetic spin

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have captured 3D images of nanoparticles in liquid with atomic precision, and developed an ultrathin electrical switch that could further miniaturize computing devices and personal electronics without loss of performance.

A Talented 2D Material Gets a New Gig

Berkeley Lab scientists tap into graphene’s hidden talent as an electrically tunable superconductor, insulator, and magnetic device for the advancement of quantum information science

Columbia Researchers Develop New Method to Isolate Atomic Sheets and Create New Materials

Columbia researchers have invented a new method—using ultraflat gold films—to disassemble vdW single crystals layer by layer into monolayers with near-unity yield and with dimensions limited only by bulk crystal sizes. The monolayers have the same high quality as those created by conventional “Scotch tape” exfoliation, but are roughly a million times larger. They can be assembled into macroscopic artificial structures, with properties not easily created in conventionally grown bulk crystals.

Breaking (and Restoring) Graphene’s Symmetry in a Twistable Electronics Device

A recent Columbia Engineering study demonstrates a new way to tune the properties of 2D materials simply by adjusting the twist angle between them. The researchers built devices consisting of monolayer graphene encapsulated between two crystals of boron nitride and, by adjusting the relative twist angle between the layers, they were able to create multiple moiré pattern—“the first time anyone has seen the full rotational dependence of coexisting moiré superlattices in one device.”

Better Biosensor Technology Created for Stem Cells

A Rutgers-led team has created better biosensor technology that may help lead to safe stem cell therapies for treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and other neurological disorders. The technology, which features a unique graphene and gold-based platform and high-tech imaging, monitors the fate of stem cells by detecting genetic material (RNA) involved in turning such cells into brain cells (neurons), according to a study in the journal Nano Letters.

Living on the Edge: How a 2D Material Got Its Shape

A team of scientists led by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has gained valuable insight into 3D transition metal oxide nanoparticles’ natural “edge” for 2D growth.

Physicists Make Graphene Discovery that Could Help Develop Superconductors

When two mesh screens are overlaid, beautiful patterns appear when one screen is offset. These “moiré patterns” have long intrigued artists, scientists and mathematicians and have found applications in printing, fashion and banknotes. Now, a Rutgers-led team has paved the way to solving one of the most enduring mysteries in materials physics by discovering a moiré pattern in graphene, where electrons organize themselves into stripes, like soldiers in formation.