A team of scientists from The University of Manchester and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found that electrons breaking the rules and travel vertical to the applied electric field would be responsible of bringing up next generation, low-energy computers.
The teamwork guided by MIT’s theory professor Leonid Levitov and Manchester’s Nobel laureate Sir Andre Geim in a research paper published this week in Science, stated that, a material in which electrons travel at a convenient angle to applied fields, alike to sailboats determined transversely to the wind.
According to the scientists’ viewpoint, the material is graphene which is one atom-thick chicken wire made from carbon however with some dissimilarity. It is changed to a new so-called super-lattice state by placing it on top of boron nitride, also known as `white graphite’, and then lining up the crystal lattices of the two materials. Contrary to metallic graphene, a graphene super-lattice acts as a semiconductor.
In original graphene, charge carriers behave like mass-less neutrinos moving at the speed of light and having the electron charge. Although an excellent conductor, graphene does not allow for easy switching on and off of current, which is at the heart of what a transistor does.
It is observed that the electrons in graphene super-lattices are dissimilar and act as neutrinos that acquired a prominent mass. It resulted in a latest, relativistic behavior so that electrons can now tilt at great angles to applied fields. According to the Manchester-MIT experiments, the result is massive. The stated relativistic outcome has no recognized analogue in particle physics and extends our perceptive of how the universe works.
Ahead of the discovery, the observed fact may also help improve the performance of graphene electronics, making it a worthy companion to silicon.
The transistors made from graphene super-lattices should devour less energy than usual semiconductor transistors since charge carriers flow vertical to the electric field resulted in little energy dissipation, the research suggested.
The researchers of Manchester-MIT reveal the initial such transistor opened a venue for less power hungry computers. ‘It is quite a fascinating effect, and it hits a very soft spot in our understanding of complex, so-called topological materials. It is extremely rare to come across with a phenomenon that bridges materials science, particle physics, relativity and topology’, Professor Geim stated.
He further added ‘It is widely believed than an unconventional approach to information processing is the key for the future of IT hardware. It seems to be the driving force behind a number of important recent developments, in particular the development of spintronics. The demonstrated transistor highlights the promise of graphene-based systems for alternative ways of information processing’.