Focus on Graphene
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New Journal of Physics
The open–access journal for physics
Focus on graphene
N M R Peres and Ricardo M Ribeiro Departament of Physics and Center of Physics, University of Minho, P-4710-057, Braga, Portugal E-mail: peres@ﬁsica.uminho.pt and ricardo@ﬁsica.uminho.pt
New Journal of Physics11 (2009) 095002 (5pp)
Received 21 September 2009 Published 30 September 2009 Online at http://www.njp.org/
Graphene physics is currently one of the most active research areas in condensed matter physics. Countless theoretical and experimental studies have already been performed, targeting electronic, magnetic, thermal, optical, structural and vibrationalproperties. Also, studies that modify pristine graphene, aiming at ﬁnding new physics and possible new applications, have been considered. These include patterning nanoribbons and quantum dots, exposing graphene’s surface to different chemical species, studying multilayer systems, and inducing strain and curvature (modifying in this way graphene’s electronic properties). This focus issue includesmany of the latest developments on graphene research.
1. Graphene, the wonder material 2. Recent developments: theoretical 3. Recent developments: experimental 4. Future developments 5. Conclusion References
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1. Graphene, the wonder material
Graphene was discovered in 2004 at the Centre for Mesoscopic and Nanotechnology of the University of Manchester, UK,directed by A K Geim (see [1, 2]). This new material is the ﬁrst
New Journal of Physics 11 (2009) 095002
1367-2630/09/095002+05$30.00 © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft
Figure 1. Left: optical image of graphite debris on top of a silicon oxide wafer.
Right: optical image of a graphene ﬂake on a silicon oxide wafer, with single and multilayer graphenesclearly visible (courtesy of A K Geim). isolated monoatomic membrane, made solely of carbon atoms arranged in a two-dimensional honeycomb (hexagonal) lattice –. The method employed in the original isolation of graphene is simultaneously surprising and ingeniously simple on the surface [1, 2]. Such simplicity appears at a time where highly sophisticated technology is commonly used fornanofabrication and nanopatterning in nanosciences. The exfoliation method, as it is called, can now produce two-dimensional membranes with areas as large as 1 mm2 , about ten times the diameter of a human hair (an example of a graphene ﬂake is shown in ﬁgure 1). Graphene physics is currently one of the most active research areas in condensed matter physics. This special issue includes many of the recentdevelopments on graphene research. A recent contribution to a discussion of the status and prospects of graphene physics has been published [5, 6].
2. Recent developments: theoretical
It is now well understood that the low-energy electronic properties of graphene are described by a two-dimensional Dirac equation for massless particles. Therefore, the approach based on the continuous model issuitable in the case of the effect of super-lattices imposed on the graphene material by an external potential, due to either a periodic arrangement of magnetic stripes or a periodic structured surface (induced by trenches) . The continuous approximation is also suitable for studying the transport properties of ribbons in magnetic ﬁelds, with or without the effect of some types of disorder [8, 9]....