(ScienceDaily) A new diamond-based quantum sensing technique from the University of Maryland gives researchers a map of the intricate movement of electricity on a microscopic scale. New results demonstrate the potential of the technique by revealing the fluid-like electrical currents that flow in graphene, a layer of carbon just one atom thick. Graphene has exceptional electrical properties, and the technique could help researchers better understand graphene and other materials and find new uses for them.
The team believes this technique will find many uses, and Ku is interested in continuing this line of research and trying to observe new viscous behaviors using these techniques in his next position as an assistant professor of physics at the University of Delaware. In addition to providing insight into physics related to the Dirac fluid like high temperature superconductors, the technique may also reveal exotic currents in other materials and provide new insights into phenomena like the quantum spin Hall effect and topological superconductivity. And as researchers better understand new electronic behaviors of materials, they may be able to develop other practical applications as well, like new types of microelectronics.
“We know there are lots of technological applications for things that carry electrical currents,” says Walsworth. “And when you find a new physical phenomenon, eventually, people will probably figure out some way to use it in technologically. We want to think about that for the viscous current in graphene in the future.”