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Programmable Extreme Pseudomagnetic Fields in Graphene by a Uniaxial Stretch

Teng Li's picture

Shuze Zhu, Joseph A. Stroscio, Teng Li, Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 245501 (2015)

Electrons dance in pulled graphene

 Giving Graphene a Good Stretch


Many of the properties of graphene are tied to its lattice structure, allowing for tuning of charge carrier dynamics through mechanical strain. The graphene electromechanical coupling yields very large pseudomagnetic fields for small strain fields, up to hundreds of Tesla, which offer new scientific opportunities unattainable with ordinary laboratory magnets. Significant challenges exist in investigation of pseudomagnetic fields, limited by the nonplanar graphene geometries in existing demonstrations and the lack of a viable approach to controlling the distribution and intensity of the pseudomagnetic field. Here we reveal a facile and effective mechanism to achieve programmable extreme pseudomagnetic fields with uniform distributions in a planar graphene sheet over a large area by a simple uniaxial stretch. We achieve this by patterning the planar graphene geometry and graphene-based heterostructures with a shape function to engineer a desired strain gradient. Our method is geometrical, opening up new fertile opportunities of strain engineering of electronic properties of 2D materials in general.

(Cover feature, Editors' Suggestion, 11 December 2015 issue of Physical Review Letters )

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