NWO Rubicon-fellow Joshua Island takes a step closer to building a graphene-based topological insulator

13 June 2019

NWO Rubicon-fellow Joshua Island and his collaborators from the University of California, Santa Barbara have found a way to turn graphene into a topological insulator (TI).

“The goal of the project was to increase or enhance the spin-orbit coupling in graphene,” lead author Island said, adding that attempts have been made over the years with limited success. “A way to do this is to put a material that has a very large spin-orbit coupling in close proximity with the graphene. The hope was that by doing that your graphene electrons will take on this property of the underlying material,” he explained. This work is one step closer to building an actual topological insulator with graphene.

Joshua Island (credits: Sonia Fernandez)Joshua Island (credits: Sonia Fernandez)

The result is published in Nature. Lead author is Dr Joshua Island – NWO Rubicon-fellow. Joshua Island received a Rubicon grant in 2016 for his research on Engineering parafermion bound states in graphene heterostructures. With this Rubicon grant he was able to go to the University of California, Santa Barbara at which his Rubicon research is carried out.

Read the publication in Nature.

Read the full press release here (English only).

Physics on the edge graphene-uc-santa-barbaraPhysics on the edge graphene-uc-santa-barbara

Source: UC Santa Barbara