Researchers from the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience of the University of Delft in the Netherlands have developed a device that allow them to control with atomic precision the slide of two sheets of graphene one over the other. The researchers have measured the electrical current flowing through the device and observed that the intensity of that current had strong oscillations. Moreover, they are able to reproduce the same oscillations at room temperatures and conditions as many times as they want.
In paralell, researchers from the Department of Physics of the University of Oviedo and the Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology Research Center (CINN), joint research center of the CSIC, the University of Oviedo and the Principality of Asturias, have analyzed this phenomenon from a theoretical point of view and they have managed to show that the source of these experimentally observed oscillations lies in the wave nature of the electrons. The electronic waves bounce over and over again at the edges of the graphene sheets and produce a pattern of interference, which causes the oscillatory character of the electric current measured experimentally. Moreover, they have shown that these oscillations depend on the difference in the distances traveled by the different electronic waves when reflected at the edges, and therefore depend on the relative position of the two grahene sheets.
The CINN research team is led by Jaime Ferrer (Full Professor of Physics) and the professors Víctor García Suárez and Amador García Fuente, all of them scientists of the Department of Physics of the University of Oviedo.