Graphene is preparing for superconductivity

Carbon atoms can form a link in many different ways. Pure carbon can occur in different forms including diamond, graphite, nanotubes, molecules in the shape of a soccer ball or honeycomb grid with hexagonal cells, known as graphene. This exotic, strictly two-dimensional material conducts electricity, but a superconductor is not. Perhaps soon it will change.

Scientists from the research centre BESSY II can scan the so-called strip structure of the specimen. This band structure provides information about how charge carriers are distributed in the allowed quantum mechanical States and which carry charge are generally available for transport. Photoemission spectroscopy with an angular resolution (ARPES investigation) at BESSY II allows you to do such measurements with extremely high resolution.

Superconducting graphene

With the help of the accurate analysis of the bandpass structure, scientists have determined the area that had not previously seen. “Double layer graphene have been studied before, because it is a semiconductor with forbidden zone (band gap),” explains scientist Andrew Varykhalov. “But the tool ARPES investigation at BESSY II has high enough resolution to see the flat area near the forbidden zone”.

This flat area is a prerequisite for superconductivity, but only if it is to meet the so-called Fermi energy. In the case of bilayer graphene, its energy level is only 200 millielectronvolts below the Fermi energy, but the energy level of the flat area can be increased up to the Fermi energy due to doping of foreign atoms or supplying an external voltage, the so-called gate voltage.

Maybe physics will find a way to turn this miracle material in the superconductor. And if you’re lucky, and in the superconductor, operating at room temperature.

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