Of graphene accidentally created material, the appearance of which was predicted in the 1930-ies

Created in the mid 2000-ies of the material, graphene has found its application in various fields. But it never ceases to amaze with their unusual properties. And even in ordinary experiments, the carbon material can help to create new and unique materials. It is noteworthy that the structure of graphene had been predicted in the last century and very funny, about the same time, it has been suggested the existence of Wigner crystals – structures that are not found in standard environmental conditions. And now, a group of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of technology have been using graphene to create a stable Wigner crystal.

First, try to understand what constitutes the crystal. As noted by one of the authors Bikash, Padhi in an interview with Science Daily,

“Imagine that the room moved people and each of them bears a sphere. All spheres have the same diameter. If the sphere is small in size — people can walk freely, but the larger the bubble, the harder people will go and they will be more likely to bump into each other. Now replace people on electrons, and the sphere of their repulsion force. This will be a Wigner crystal. Under normal conditions, the electrons almost do not interact with each other, and in the form of a crystal with the molecular similarity with the gas, apparently the material is similar to rigid body.”

Wigner crystals were observed previously but it was in extremely low temperatures such crystals existed very long. However, in experiments with bilayer graphene (tBLG) physics from MIT found a highly unusual properties of the resulting material. He had endured superconductivity and electron from one layer to another. At that time, the ability tBLG “move” embedded electron explained the dielectric properties. But colleagues of the staff of the MIT from the University of Illinois decided to repeat their experience and explore the material in more detail.

The proposed structure of Wigner crystals of bilayer graphene. The figure And the criteria of experimental build is not performed that results in the transfer of electrons. In figures B and C shows the imaged state when 2 or 3 electrons are in the inside of the crystal lattice

Scientists from the University of Illinois believe that double-layer graphene is one of the variants of the Wigner crystal, and this condition has been achieved thanks to the introduction between two layers of graphene from a larger number of electrons. At the moment, the study of new material continues.

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