Authors: George Rajna
Bumpy surfaces with graphene between would help dissipate heat in next-generation microelectronic devices, according to Rice University scientists.  Scientists at The University of Manchester and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have demonstrated a method to chemically modify small regions of graphene with high precision, leading to extreme miniaturisation of chemical and biological sensors.  A new method for producing conductive cotton fabrics using graphene-based inks opens up new possibilities for flexible and wearable electronics, without the use of expensive and toxic processing steps.  A device made of bilayer graphene, an atomically thin hexagonal arrangement of carbon atoms, provides experimental proof of the ability to control the momentum of electrons and offers a path to electronics that could require less energy and give off less heat than standard silicon-based transistors. It is one step forward in a new field of physics called valleytronics.  In our computer chips, information is transported in form of electrical charge. Electrons or other charge carriers have to be moved from one place to another. For years scientists have been working on elements that take advantage of the electrons angular momentum (their spin) rather than their electrical charge. This new approach, called "spintronics" has major advantages compared to common electronics. It can operate with much less energy.  Scientists have achieved the ultimate speed limit of the control of spins in a solid state magnetic material. The rise of the digital information era posed a daunting challenge to develop ever faster and smaller devices for data storage and processing. An approach which relies on the magnetic moment of electrons (i.e. the spin) rather than the charge, has recently turned into major research fields, called spintronics and magnonics.  A team of researchers with members from Germany, the U.S. and Russia has found a way to measure the time it takes for an electron in an atom to respond to a pulse of light.  As an elementary particle, the electron cannot be broken down into smaller particles, at least as far as is currently known. However, in a phenomenon called electron fractionalization, in certain materials an electron can be broken down into smaller "charge pulses," each of which carries a fraction of the electron's charge. Although electron fractionalization has many interesting implications, its origins are not well understood. 
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[v1] 2016-12-12 04:07:58
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