Topological Insulators


Michael S. Fuhrer

The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov for their experiments on graphene, a single-atom plane of graphite. I will discuss why graphene has generated such excitement in condensed matter physics. Graphene is different: graphene's electrons mimic massless Dirac fermions. But graphene is also amazingly tunable: Band gaps can be generated by nanostructuring. Interactions can be tuned by the surrounding dielectric. Strain generates effective "pseudomagnetic'' fields up to 300 Tesla. The work function can be tuned over a large range. Such tunability promises that graphene will remain interesting as a laboratory for condensed matter physics.

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Michael S. Fuhrer,

Published December 13, 2010

Nanophysics | Graphene

Tuning the area of the Fermi surface of graphene demonstrates the fundamental physics of electron-phonon scattering.