Thanks to Ron Kita for forwarding this press release from the University of Illinois.
Below is an excerpt. Full article available here:
Wigner Crystal Discovered in ‘Magic-angle’ Graphene
Tue, 09/25/2018 – 1:39pm
by Siv Schwink, University of Illinois
Recently, a team of scientists led by Pablo Jarillo-Herrero at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created a huge stir in the field of condensed matter physics when they showed that two sheets of graphene twisted at specific angles — dubbed “magic-angle” graphene — display two emergent phases of matter not observed in single sheets of graphene.
Graphene is a honeycomb lattice of carbon atoms — it’s essentially a one-atom-thick layer of graphite, the dark, flaky material in pencils.
In two articles published online in March 2018 and appearing in the April 5, 2018 issue of the journal Nature, the team reported the twisted bilayer graphene (tBLG) exhibits an unconventional superconducting phase, akin to what is seen in high-temperature superconducting cuprates.
This phase is obtained by doping (injecting electrons into) an insulating state, which the MIT group interpreted as an example of Mott insulation. A joint team of scientists at UCSB and Columbia University has reproduced the remarkable MIT results.
The discovery holds promise for the eventual development of room-temperature superconductors and a host of other equally groundbreaking applications.