Scientific and technological breakthroughs often benefit from, and are sometimes driven by, discoveries of new materials. Examples include high Tc superconductors, multiferroics and low dimensional carbon allotropes. Our research mission is to develop a deep understanding of the emerging materials and to explore their applications in new technologies.
In the recent years, the ability to isolate single crystal graphene from graphite has opened a wide range of opportunities for studying isolated real-2D crystals without suffering the substrate lattice mismatch and surface conditions induced disorders. Even though the mechanically exfoliated atomic layers are typically small and irregular, they provide the opportunity for investigating the undistorted physical properties of nanomaterials, as well as the proof-of-principle devices. And if desirable, further study of more application-oriented large (wafer) size films, typically involving much higher cost and more time, can be carried out with better assured outcomes.
Graphene stands out as the first intensively studied material under such a concept because of its unusual properties as a 2D Dirac fermion system and as a promising electronic material. Our works on graphene involve the following aspects:
1. The physics of Dirac fermions, including magnetic field induced phases, scattering of Dirac fermions, etc.
2. Graphene-superconductor junctions:superconducting proximity effect and graphene based bolometers. This work is funded by AFOSR-YIP (award# FA9550-10-1-0090)
3. Graphene-ferroelectric devices (in collaboration with Professor Mathew Dawber) This work is funded by NSF DMR (award# 1105202)
4. Ballistic graphene electronics and sensors
Beyond graphene, we are also working on electronic properties of other layered materials, including superconductors, semiconductors and insulators, as they are thinned down to single-unit-cell thickness. In particular we are interested in understanding their intrinsic properties during a 3D-to-2D transition, as well as investigation of the proof-of-principle applications.
Quantum transport and low dimensional materials laboratory