As much as we’ve learned about graphene since its discovery, new properties are being discovered all the time. How graphene reacts to being cooled when attached to a flat surface could be a breakthrough in quantum materials and superconductors, a Rutgers University-led research team recently published in the journal Nature.
The researchers were studying the properties of buckled graphene, and the unique “pucker” patterns formed when the material was cooled to just 4 degrees above absolute zero. They found the material’s properties changed dramatically when exposed to extreme cold, and that it mimicked the effect of a massive magnetic field as it cools and buckles.
Quantum materials’ ability to contain electrons with special properties could facilitate the creation of ultra-fast quantum computers. Used as a superconductor, it could revolutionize energy transmission and make electronic devices more efficient.
“Buckling of stiff thin films like graphene laminated on flexible materials is gaining ground as a platform for stretchable electronics with many important applications, including eye-like digital cameras, energy harvesting, skin sensors, health monitoring devices like tiny robots and intelligent surgical gloves. Our discovery opens the way to the development of devices for controlling nano-robots that may one day play a role in biological diagnostics and tissue repair,” writes research team lead Eva Y. Andrei.