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By studying how electrons in two-dimensional graphene can literally act like a liquid, researchers have paved the way for further research into a material that has the potential to enable future electronic computing devices that outpace silicon transistors.
Research into a new method to more accurately demonstrate liquid-like electron behavior in graphene, developed by Rensselaer researcher Ravishankar Sundararaman and a team from Quazar Technologies in India led by Mani Chandra, was recently published in Physical Review B.
Graphene - Layer - Graphite - Lot - Attention
Graphene is a single atomic layer of graphite that has gained a lot of attention because of its unique electronic properties. Recently, Sundararaman said, scientists have proposed that under the right conditions, electrons in graphene can flow like a liquid in a manner unlike any other material.
To illustrate this, Sundararaman compares electrons to drops of water. When just a few droplets line the bottom of a jar, their movement is predictable as they follow the motion of the container when it's tilted side to side. That is how electrons behave in most materials as they come in contact with atoms and bounce off them. This leads to Ohm's law, the observation that the electric current flowing through a material is proportional to the voltage applied across it. Remove the voltage, and the current stops.
Glass - Half-full - Water - Movement - Liquid
Now picture a glass that's half-full of water. The movement of liquid, especially as you shake the jar, is much less uniform because the water molecules mostly come in contact with each other...
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