To be able to see the wave of electrons in metals, one need to make a metallic wire just a few atoms thick. In graphene – one atom thick graphite – their density is much smaller and can be changed by making a transistor.
In metals like copper electrons are positioned at around 100 nanometres, a thousand times smaller than the breadth of human hair, due to impurities. However in graphene these electrons are at about 10 micrometers, just 10 times smaller than human hair. This is possible by putting graphene between layers of boron nitride. Boron nitride layers have few imperfections, which means that the electrons won’t be impeded.
When the electrons are traveling long distances, you can hear them “whisper” to each other. When you reduce the imperfections, you are making those faint whispers more audible.
Professor Mandar Deshmukh’s group at TIFR found out in a study that this silence allows electronic interactions to be observed in 3 layers of graphene.
This reveals a new kind of magnet, and provides insight on how electronic devices could be made with graphene.
The study discovered the magnetism of the electrons at the frigid -272 degrees Celsius. The magnetism came from the “whispers” between the electrons.