Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Secrets of tunneling through energy barriers: How massless electrons tunnel through energy barriers in a carbon sheet called graphene

Date:
November 8, 2011
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
Electrons moving in graphene behave in an unusual way, as demonstrated by 2010 Nobel Prize laureates for physics Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, who performed transport experiments on this one-carbon-atom-thick material. A review article explores the theoretical and experimental results to date of electrons tunneling through energy barriers in graphene.

Electrons moving in graphene behave in an unusual way, as demonstrated by 2010 Nobel Prize laureates for physics Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, who performed transport experiments on this one-carbon-atom-thick material. A review article, just published in The European Physical Journal B, explores the theoretical and experimental results to date of electrons tunneling through energy barriers in graphene.

Related Articles


As good an electrical conductor at room temperature as copper graphene is, it also outperforms all other known materials as a heat conductor. It is both very dense due to its honeycomb lattice structure and almost completely transparent, making it suitable, among other applications, for touch screens and light panels.

What could partly explain graphene's properties is that electrons travelling inside the material behave as if they were massless. Their behavior is described by the so-called massless Dirac equation that is normally used for high-energy particles such as neutrinos nearing the speed of light. However, electrons in graphene move at a constant speed 300 times smaller than that of light.

In this review, P.E. Allain and J.N. Fuchs, both from the Universitι Paris-Sud, focus on the tunneling effect occurring when Dirac electrons found in graphene are transmitted through different types of energy barriers. Contrary to the laws of classical mechanics, which govern larger scale particles that cannot cross energy barriers, electron tunneling is possible in quantum mechanics -- though only under restricted conditions, depending on the width and energy height of the barrier.

However, the Dirac electrons found in graphene can tunnel through energy barriers regardless of their width and energy height; a phenomenon called Klein tunneling, described theoretically for 3D massive Dirac electrons by the Swedish physicist Oskar Klein in 1929. Graphene was the first material in which Klein tunneling was observed experimentally, as massive Dirac electrons required energy barriers too large to be observed.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. E. Allain, J. N. Fuchs. Klein tunneling in graphene: optics with massless electrons. The European Physical Journal B, 2011; 83 (3): 301 DOI: 10.1140/epjb/e2011-20351-3

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Secrets of tunneling through energy barriers: How massless electrons tunnel through energy barriers in a carbon sheet called graphene." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111107155410.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2011, November 8). Secrets of tunneling through energy barriers: How massless electrons tunnel through energy barriers in a carbon sheet called graphene. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111107155410.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Secrets of tunneling through energy barriers: How massless electrons tunnel through energy barriers in a carbon sheet called graphene." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111107155410.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins