A multi-discipline team of researchers and scientists have developed a better way of viewing the movement of electricity using diamonds, and have discovered some interesting things about how electricity travels through materials like graphene.
The team demonstrated their technique by making the electrical currents that flow through graphene visible for the first time. Their findings were that room-temperature graphene is capable of producing electrical currents that flow like water through pipes. The team says it hopes the discovery provides better understanding of graphene and paves the way to new innovative uses for the wonder material.
Man-made diamonds have natural defects, one type of which is nitrogen vacancies. These vacancies absorb green light and re-emit it as red light. By looking at the re-emitted light, scientists are able to analyze its magnetic field.
By resting graphene on a diamond sheet with numerous nitrogen vacancies, the team was able to see the entire current, and is hoping to gain a better understanding of how various currents move through graphene.
“We know there are lots of technological applications for things that carry electrical currents,” says JQI Fellow Ronald Walsworth. “And when you find a new physical phenomenon, eventually, people will probably figure out some way to use it technologically. We want to think about that for the viscous current in graphene in the future.”