Since graphene is a 2D material, electrons pass through it in a different way than other materials. This presents problems when trying to stop electrons from moving by applying electricity, which works in other materials but until recently, not with graphene.
An international team of scientists have finally managed to solve this problem, which could pave the way for advanced applications like quantum computers.
As part of the experiment, the team created atomic-sized brick walls that were able to stop graphene electrons from moving, trapping them within. Their work demonstrates that it is in fact possible to confine graphene electrons, in part by the manipulation of a large number of hydrogen atoms, according to Phys.org.
The team’s method is also repeatable without being destructive, meaning they can take apart and rebuild the nanostructures as often as they’d like. Their discovery could result in the selective coupling of quantum dots, which in turn lead to the artificial design of quantum matter, Phys.org writes.
The team’s findings were recently published in the journal Advanced Materials.