We use layered crystals like graphite, that form strong covalent bonds in one plane versus a relatively weak “van-der-Waals” attraction between the different planes.
Out of these layered materials we isolate very thin flakes of only one atom thick crystals – like graphene. The physics at this extremely two-dimensional limit is typically different and very interesting.
It is also possible to recombine flakes from different materials one on top of the other (like LEGO blocks) to make novel artificial structures, where we expect fascinating electronic, mechanical and optical phenomena.
Einstein with Dirac equation on the board
(by Maayan Vizner)
Superconducting quantum interference devices are made by coupling two superconductors across a non-superconducting medium. In a previous work graphene was demonstrated to serve as an excellent such medium.
In our research, therefore, we also try to realize conceptually new systems, or to push the well known systems into new configurations. In particular, where we expect interesting correlations and interactions between the particles.
The fact that it is very hard to predict what type of orders and phenomena will emerge in these cases, makes the experimental observations both fascinating and crucial.