editor's blog
Subscribe Now

From Conductor to Insulator

Graphene is one of those materials under vigorous study for use in future electronics. A single honeycomb layer of carbon atoms, it features high electron mobility but no bandgap, so, on its own, doesn’t work well as a semiconductor.

Add another layer, however, and, as we saw in our note on the next logic gate, interesting things may happen.

In particular, some UC Riverside researchers found that so-called bilayer graphene (BLG), which also has high mobility, can become an insulator once the number of electrons drops far enough. They did this by making a BLG sheet one plate of a capacitor, pulling away electrons. This isn’t a gradual process of conductivity changing linearly as electrons are depleted; at a certain point, there’s a fundamental shift in how the electrons organize themselves.

They go so far as to describe this shift as a form of “symmetry breaking,” which gives mass to particles – and they fancy this as the embodiment of a new quantum particle.

You can find more on what’s either a new particle or just another bit of useful knowledge about how to work with graphene in their unusually explanatory release.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Mar 27, 2020
[From the last episode: We saw how pointers are an important kind of variable, representing data whose location we can'€™t predict in advance.] We saw last time that pointers are used to store the addresses of data stored in memory space that'€™s allocated while the progr...
Mar 27, 2020
Have you ever paused to consider how temptingly tasty electronic circuits would look if their components and copper tracks were mounted on a glass substrate?...
Mar 27, 2020
Solar Power While the cost and benefits of solar power can and have been debated, there'€™s one point that cannot be debated:  the solar energy sector continues to grow.   The solar energy sector has grown 68% over the last decade, and the cost of solar infrastruc...
Mar 26, 2020
Late last week you may have seen the open letter  from our CEO, Tony Hemmelgarn, laying out the steps that Siemens Digital Industries Software is taking to support our customers during the COVID-19 global crisis. All of us are getting use to the “new normal” ...

Featured Video

Industry’s First USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Interoperability Demo -- Synopsys & ASMedia

Sponsored by Synopsys

Blazingly fast USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 are ready for your SoC. In this video, you’ll see Synopsys and ASMedia demonstrate the throughput available with Synopsys DesignWare USB 3.2 IP.

Learn more about Synopsys USB 3.2