Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Quantum Chains in Graphene Nanoribbons

View as: Print Mobile App Share:
graphene nanoribbons, illustration

When graphene nanoribbons contain sections of varying width, robust new quantum states can be created in the transition zone.

Credit: Empa

Researchers at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology in Switzerland (Empa) and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Germany have succeeded in adjusting the electronic properties of graphene nanoribbons by varying their shape, a process that could generate specific local quantum states in the ribbon.

Changing the width of a graphene nanoribbon from seven to nine atoms produces a transitional zone, giving rise to a "protected," highly robust new quantum state that could serve as a basic element in customized semiconductors, metals, insulators, and perhaps even quantum computers. Building ribbons with regularly alternating zones of different widths creates a chain of interlinked quantum states with its own electronic structure, with electronic properties that shift based on the width of the different segments.

The researchers say electronic quantum states at junctions of graphene nanoribbons of different widths also carry a magnetic moment that could enable information processing via spin.

From Empa
View Full Article


Abstracts Copyright © 2018 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


No entries found

Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account