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'Magic' Angle Graphene Is BACK...with an Even Bigger Twist

Scientists have unveiled a whole new world of physics that could lead to the superconductors we've been waiting for.
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In 2018, the discovery of something called a “magic angle” in graphene wowed physicists everywhere.
Graphene is a single-atom thick layer of carbon that forms a hexagonal lattice pattern, and its atomic arrangement gives graphene certain exciting properties, like being more than 200 times stronger than steel, flexible, transparent, and highly conductive.
And that last property, the highly conductive one, was highlighted in 2018 when researchers put two layers of graphene on top of each other, and twisted them at exactly 1.1 degrees. They cooled the graphene structure to just above absolute zero, applied a strong electric field, and found that not only are these graphene bilayers highly conductive...they exhibit alternating areas of conductivity and insulation.
Meaning scientists saw graphene bilayers (with a twist) to behave like a superconductor. And the thing is, we don’t really know why.
And now, this year, while exploring the capabilities of this seemingly ‘magical’ twist further, scientists uncovered something that is arguably an even bigger deal.
An international team at the Institute of Photonic Science in Barcelona made what they call ‘magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene devices,’ by taking two stacks of graphene rotated at the magic angle, and using a mechanical squeezing process to eliminate impurities. This version of the experiment allowed researchers to see details they hadn’t before, like the device’s incredible versatility.
Find out more about how this magic angle graphene can act as an insulator, superconductor, or magnet on this Elements.
#Graphene #Superconductors #Physics #Science #Seeker #Elements
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