LAKE WALES, Fla. -- A three dimensional form of graphene is being explored as a next-generation electronics material by a pair of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) researchers who won a Nobel Prize for graphene research in 2010.
Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov discovered the new three-dimensional form of graphene -- called Weyl Semimetals -- which was predicted by the late German physicist Hermann Weyl.
The promise of 3-D graphene is that electrons in them have no mass -- like photons -- but carry an electrical charge, making them one of the most promising new methods of achieving superconductor-like conductivity on the surface of a topological material.
The bulk electron spectrum in a Weyl semimetal is described by an even number of Weyl cones centered at special points in the momentum space.
Geim and Novoselov characterized the behavior of the massless yet charged Weyl Particles on the surface of Weyl Semimaterials using topological field theory and published their results in the peer-reviewed Physical Review.
The Weyl fermion (a more precise term than particle, meaning that it follows statistical rules and possesses a half integral spin) was finally discovered long after Weyl's lifelong search for it (Weyl died in 1995). It was discovered in 2015 atop tiny crystals now known as Weyl Semimetals. MIPT professor Vladimir Volkov and his doctoral candidate, Zhanna Devizorova, then solved the topological equations that predicted the shape of what are now known as Fermi Arcs (Weyl fermion scattering) on the crystalline surface.
These electron surface states -- predicted in the 1930s by Nobel Prize winners Igor Tamm of the Soviet Union and William Shockley of the United States ‐-- led to the first theoretical models of these states. Several MIPT scientists are now looking for the principles that could lay the foundation for the next-generation of electronic devices based on topologocal Weyl Semimetals that are faster and more energy efficient than today's electronics.
The researchers hope is that Weyl Semimetals could enable ultrafast electronics whose Weyl Fermions can be controlled by electrical and magnetic fields. Further details on Fermi Arcs formation can be found in the researchers' paper, "Weyl semimetals: The key role of intervalley interaction."
— R. Colin Johnson, Advanced Technology Editor, EE Times