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Observation of the Dirac fluid and the breakdown of the Wiedemann-Franz law in graphene

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      Two-dimensional gas of massless Dirac fermions in graphene.

      Quantum electrodynamics (resulting from the merger of quantum mechanics and relativity theory) has provided a clear understanding of phenomena ranging from particle physics to cosmology and from astrophysics to quantum chemistry. The ideas underlying quantum electrodynamics also influence the theory of condensed matter, but quantum relativistic effects are usually minute in the known experimental systems that can be described accurately by the non-relativistic Schrödinger equation. Here we report an experimental study of a condensed-matter system (graphene, a single atomic layer of carbon) in which electron transport is essentially governed by Dirac's (relativistic) equation. The charge carriers in graphene mimic relativistic particles with zero rest mass and have an effective 'speed of light' c* approximately 10(6) m s(-1). Our study reveals a variety of unusual phenomena that are characteristic of two-dimensional Dirac fermions. In particular we have observed the following: first, graphene's conductivity never falls below a minimum value corresponding to the quantum unit of conductance, even when concentrations of charge carriers tend to zero; second, the integer quantum Hall effect in graphene is anomalous in that it occurs at half-integer filling factors; and third, the cyclotron mass m(c) of massless carriers in graphene is described by E = m(c)c*2. This two-dimensional system is not only interesting in itself but also allows access to the subtle and rich physics of quantum electrodynamics in a bench-top experiment.
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        Experimental observation of the quantum Hall effect and Berry's phase in graphene.

        When electrons are confined in two-dimensional materials, quantum-mechanically enhanced transport phenomena such as the quantum Hall effect can be observed. Graphene, consisting of an isolated single atomic layer of graphite, is an ideal realization of such a two-dimensional system. However, its behaviour is expected to differ markedly from the well-studied case of quantum wells in conventional semiconductor interfaces. This difference arises from the unique electronic properties of graphene, which exhibits electron-hole degeneracy and vanishing carrier mass near the point of charge neutrality. Indeed, a distinctive half-integer quantum Hall effect has been predicted theoretically, as has the existence of a non-zero Berry's phase (a geometric quantum phase) of the electron wavefunction--a consequence of the exceptional topology of the graphene band structure. Recent advances in micromechanical extraction and fabrication techniques for graphite structures now permit such exotic two-dimensional electron systems to be probed experimentally. Here we report an experimental investigation of magneto-transport in a high-mobility single layer of graphene. Adjusting the chemical potential with the use of the electric field effect, we observe an unusual half-integer quantum Hall effect for both electron and hole carriers in graphene. The relevance of Berry's phase to these experiments is confirmed by magneto-oscillations. In addition to their purely scientific interest, these unusual quantum transport phenomena may lead to new applications in carbon-based electronic and magneto-electronic devices.
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          One-dimensional electrical contact to a two-dimensional material.

          Heterostructures based on layering of two-dimensional (2D) materials such as graphene and hexagonal boron nitride represent a new class of electronic devices. Realizing this potential, however, depends critically on the ability to make high-quality electrical contact. Here, we report a contact geometry in which we metalize only the 1D edge of a 2D graphene layer. In addition to outperforming conventional surface contacts, the edge-contact geometry allows a complete separation of the layer assembly and contact metallization processes. In graphene heterostructures, this enables high electronic performance, including low-temperature ballistic transport over distances longer than 15 micrometers, and room-temperature mobility comparable to the theoretical phonon-scattering limit. The edge-contact geometry provides new design possibilities for multilayered structures of complimentary 2D materials.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Science
            Science
            American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
            0036-8075
            1095-9203
            March 03 2016
            March 04 2016
            February 11 2016
            March 04 2016
            : 351
            : 6277
            : 1058-1061
            10.1126/science.aad0343
            © 2016

            http://www.sciencemag.org/about/science-licenses-journal-article-reuse

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