Science Friday: Electrons corralled using new quantum tool

I’m not a physicist or anything, and I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night (lol), but I think this means Moore’s law isn’t in any danger of becoming obsolete.

Electrons corralled using new quantum tool

“Whispering gallery” effect confines electrons, could provide basis for new electron-optics devices.

David L. Chandler | MIT News Office
May 7, 2015

Researchers have succeeded in creating a new “whispering gallery” effect for electrons in a sheet of graphene — making it possible to precisely control a region that reflects electrons within the material. They say the accomplishment could provide a basic building block for new kinds of electronic lenses, as well as quantum-based devices that combine electronics and optics.

The new system uses a needle-like probe that forms the basis of present-day scanning tunneling microscopes (STM), enabling control of both the location and the size of the reflecting region within graphene — a two-dimensional form of carbon that is just one atom thick.

[…]

When the sharp tip of the STM is poised over a sheet of graphene, it produces a circular barrier on the sheet that “acts as a perfect curved mirror” for electrons, Levitov says, reflecting them along the curved surface until they begin to interfere with themselves. This controllable reflectivity and interference is similar, he adds, to so-called “whispering gallery” confinement modes that have been used in optical and acoustic systems — but these have not been tunable or adjustable.

[..]

http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/electrons-corralled-quantum-graphene-0507

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