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A Twist in Graphene Could Make for Tunable Electronic Devices

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Graphene has tunable electronic properties.

Researchers have devised a twisting technique using graphene/boron nitride heterostructures that can control the rotation of the graphene, and demonstrated how the electrical, optical, and even mechanical properties of the device can be dynamically varied

Credit: Philip Krantz/Krantz NanoArt

Researchers from Columbia University, the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan, and the National Center for Scientific Research in France have demonstrated proof of principle for a twisting method using graphene/boron nitride heterostructures.

They say the method allows control of the graphene's rotation and the dynamic variance of electrical, optical, and mechanical properties.

The team thinks this could lead to new classes of electronic devices.

Low friction between the graphene and other two-dimensional materials makes the twisting possible, and there is no strong chemical bonding between the crystal planes, enabling them to slide easily over one another.

Columbia's Cory Dean says this property means devices could be intentionally designed to be rotatable. According to Dean, "A single material that can be locally 'twisted' to realize each of these components could enable significant new engineering opportunities."

From IEEE Spectrum
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