Researchers at MIT have made yet another surprising discovery involving graphene, the super thin sheet of graphite that is only one atom thick. In a new study, physicists at MIT have found a new electronic state in this remarkable material, which they have named “ferro-valleytricity.” Graphene is known for its exceptional strength, flexibility, and conductivity, and has the potential to revolutionize various industries.
In this study, the MIT team uncovered “multiferroic behavior” in graphene, a rare characteristic in the material world. Multiferroic materials exhibit more than one coordinated behavior, such as magnetism and electric charge. According to the calculations, graphene becomes multiferroic when five sheets are stacked on top of each other in a specific rhombus shape.
To confirm their theory, the researchers experimented with flakes of graphene obtained from a graphite block. They isolated flakes with the desired rhombus shape and studied them under controlled conditions. The researchers discovered that the electrons in these flakes responded uniformly to electric and magnetic fields, confirming the presence of multiferroic behavior. Interestingly, the magnetism arose from the coordination of the electrons’ orbital motion, rather than their spin. The electronic behavior, on the other hand, occurred when electrons settled into one valley, or lowest energy state, instead of evenly distributing between two valleys. This unique electronic state was named “ferro-valleytricity” by the research team.
The implications of this discovery are significant. The researchers believe that this strange behavior could potentially double the data storage capacity of a chip. By utilizing the ferro-valleytricity phenomenon, the storage capacity of electronic devices could be greatly enhanced.
This discovery adds to the growing list of extraordinary attributes and applications of graphene. This wonder material is already known for its exceptional strength, conductivity, and flexibility, and has the potential to revolutionize various industries, from electronics to aerospace engineering. As scientists continue to explore the properties of graphene, it is likely that more surprises and groundbreaking discoveries will be unveiled in the future.
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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