Iadecola and colleagues featured on APS Physics

May 01, 2013

Is it possible to change the electronic properties of a solid by driving the underlying atomic lattice out of equilibrium? The electronic structure of materials is typically understood in terms of a static lattice which provides the background for electronic motion. First-year graduate student Tom Iadecola and colleagues studied what happens in graphene when the underlying lattice vibrates in a particular normal mode. They showed that the transport properties of the non-equilibrium problem can be understood by transforming into a reference frame which is co-moving with the vibrating lattice. In this way, they argued that the driven system behaves as a static semiconductor with a band gap whose size can be tuned by adjusting the amplitude of the vibrations. This is in stark contrast to the equilibrium case, where graphene is gapless. Their work was published in Physical Review Letters.

A full synopsis, as well as a link to the original article, can be found on the APS Physics website.