Graphene twisted at a certain "magic angle" acquires amazing properties

Graphene is called a "miracle material" for a reason - it is ultra-thin, super-strong and has very unusual electrical properties. Researchers at MIT have previously found a particularly bizarre pattern that occurs in twisted graphene - but now they are significantly deeper into its study.

Graphene is composed of layers of carbon only one atom thick. This makes it virtually two-dimensional, and the electrons flowing in it can only move back and forth and from side to side, but cannot move up or down. This gives graphene an incredibly high electrical conductivity.

However, if you stack several layers of graphene, its electrical properties change. If at the same time the upper layer is shifted relative to the lower one by a "magic angle" of 1, 1 degree - the material will receive a new amazing quality. Such a two-layer structure will suddenly acquire the ability to transition from the state of an electrical insulator to a state of a superconductor. This property of graphene was discovered in 2018.

A recent study has revealed an even more interesting fact. If you fold four sheets of graphene and bend them through a "magic angle", the entire structure becomes an insulator - just like with two layers. But now the degree of electrical insulation can be finely tuned using an electromagnetic field, which cannot be done with a two-layer stack.

The study of the new pattern is still in its very early stages. However, scientists assure that one day such twisted graphene systems will allow the creation of very unusual electronic devices. A work devoted to this issue was published in the journal Nature.