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News 09.11.2017
New publication: Aharonov-Bohm oscillations and magnetic focusing in ballistic graphene rings

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New publication: Aharonov-Bohm oscillations and magnetic focusing in ballistic graphene rings

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Phys. Rev. B 96, 205407 (2017)
We present low-temperature magnetotransport measurements on graphene rings encapsulated in hexagonal boron nitride. We investigate phase-coherent transport and show Aharonov-Bohm (AB) oscillations in quasiballistic graphene rings with hard confinement. In particular, we report on the observation of h/e, h/2e, and h/3e conductance oscillations. Moreover, we show signatures of magnetic focusing effects at small magnetic fields confirming ballistic transport. We perform tight-binding calculations which allow us to reproduce all significant features of our experimental findings and enable a deeper understanding of the underlying physics. Finally, we report on the observation of the AB conductance oscillations in the quantum Hall regime at reasonable high magnetic fields, where we find regions with enhanced AB oscillation visibility with values up to 0.7%. These oscillations are well explained by taking disorder into account allowing for a coexistence of hard- and soft-wall confinement.

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New release of CARTADITALIA

CARTADITALIA - including an interview with Christoph Stampfer - offers an overview in the best of the Italian scientifiy culture of the younger generations. More information can be found here.

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New publication: Dry-transferred CVD graphene for inverted spin valve devices


Appl. Phys. Lett. 111, 152402 (2017)
Integrating high-mobility graphene grown by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) into spin transport devices is one of the key tasks in graphene spintronics. We use a van der Waals pick-up technique to transfer CVD graphene by hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) from the copper growth substrate onto predefined Co/MgO electrodes to build inverted spin valve devices. Two approaches are presented: (i) a process where the CVD-graphene/hBN stack is first patterned into a bar and then transferred by a second larger hBN crystal onto spin valve electrodes and (ii) a direct transfer of a CVD-graphene/hBN stack. We report record high spin lifetimes in CVD graphene of up to 1.75 ns at room temperature. Overall, the performances of our devices are comparable to devices fabricated from exfoliated graphene also revealing nanosecond spin lifetimes. We expect that our dry transfer methods pave the way towards more advanced device geometries not only for spintronic applications but also for CVD-graphene-based nanoelectronic devices in general where patterning of the CVD graphene is required prior to the assembly of final van der Waals heterostructures.

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New publication: High quality factor graphene-based 2D heterostructure mechanical resonator


Nano Lett. 17, 5950 (2017)
Ultralight mechanical resonators based on low-dimensional materials are well suited as exceptional transducers of minuscule forces or mass changes. However, the low dimensionality also provides a challenge to minimize resistive losses and heating. Here, we report on a novel approach that aims to combine different 2D materials to tackle this challenge. We fabricated a heterostructure mechanical resonator consisting of few layers of niobium diselenide (NbSe2) encapsulated by two graphene sheets. The hybrid membrane shows high quality factors up to 245'000 at low temperatures, comparable to the best few-layer graphene mechanical resonators. In contrast to few-layer graphene resonators, the device shows reduced electrical losses attributed to the lower resistivity of the NbSe2 layer. The peculiar low temperature dependence of the intrinsic quality factor points to dissipation over two-level systems which in turn relax over the electronic system. Our high sensitivity readout is enabled by coupling the membrane to a superconducting cavity which allows for the integration of the hybrid mechanical resonator as a sensitive and low loss transducer in future quantum circuits.

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Recent press highlights about the newly established Aachen Graphene & 2D Materials Centre

Press highlight in the RWTH News - The World’s Thinnest Material and at the Graphene-Flagship web page (Launch of the Aachen Graphene & 2D-Materials Centre – for more details see Graphene-Flagship.EU.

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Neue Publikation: Die akustische Stoppuhr in phyphox

MNU Journal 5, 322-327 (2017)
Die kostenlose App phyphox (Android und iOS) bietet viele neuartige Funktionen, um Physikexperimente mithilfe der gängigen Smartphone-Sensoren durchzuführen. Ein besonderes Werkzeug stellt hier die akustische Stoppuhr dar, welche für Schüler/innen eine intuitive Methode bietet, die Schallgeschwindigkeit zu bestimmen oder Zeitmessungen bei Fallexperimenten durchzuführen.

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New publication: Establishment of a biophysical model to optimize endoscopic targeting of magnetic nanoparticles for cancer treatment


Int. J. Nanomedicine 12, 5933(2017)
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) may be used for local tumor treatment by coupling them to a drug and accumulating them locally with magnetic field traps, that is, a combination of permanent magnets and coils. Thereafter, an alternating magnetic field generates heat which may be used to release the thermosensitively bound drug and for hyperthermia. Until today, only superficial tumors can be treated with this method. Our aim was to transfer this method into an endoscopic setting to also reach the majority of tumors located inside the body. To find the ideal endoscopic magnetic field trap, which accumulates the most SPION, we first developed a biophysical model considering anatomical as well as physical conditions. Entities of choice were esophageal and prostate cancer. The magnetic susceptibilities of different porcine and rat tissues were measured with a superconducting quantum interference device. All tissues showed diamagnetic behavior. The evaluation of clinical data (computed tomography scan, endosonography, surgical reports, pathological evaluation) of patients gave insight into the topographical relationship between the tumor and its surroundings. Both were used to establish the biophysical model of the tumors and their surroundings, closely mirroring the clinical situation, in which we could virtually design, place and evaluate different electromagnetic coil configurations to find optimized magnetic field traps for each tumor entity. By simulation, we could show that the efficiency of the magnetic field traps can be enhanced by 38-fold for prostate and 8-fold for esophageal cancer. Therefore, our approach of endoscopic targeting is an improvement of the magnetic drug-targeting setups for SPION tumor therapy as it holds the possibility of reaching tumors inside the body in a minimal-invasive way. Future animal experiments must prove these findings in vivo.

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Simulations on the Influence of Spatially Varying Spin Transport Parameters on the Measured Spin Lifetime in Graphene Non-Local Spin Valves


Physica Status Solidi B, 1700293(2017)
Spin transport properties of graphene non-local spin valve devices are typically determined from Hanle spin precession measurements by using a simplified solution of the one-dimensional Bloch-Torrey equation which assumes infinitely long transport channels and uniform spin transport parameter. We investigate the effects of a finite graphene size and explore the influence of spatially-varying transport parameters on the measured Hanle curves by finite element simulations. We assume enhanced spin dephasing in the contact-covered graphene areas with additional Fermi level pinning and explore the influence of non-magnetic reference electrodes which are not properly decoupled from graphene. In experiments, it is typically observed that the spin lifetime increases with increasing charge carrier density. None of our simulations can reproduce this trend indicating that this dependency originates from spin transport through graphene areas which are not covered by contacts. We find that the extracted spin lifetime might be overestimated in flakes which are shorter than the spin diffusion length. Moreover, contact-induced spin dephasing leads to an overall reduction of the extracted spin lifetime. Additionally, we show that non-magnetic reference electrodes may also influence the measured spin lifetime even though they are not part of the transport area under investigation.

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