Measurement of collective dynamical mass of Dirac fermions in graphene

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Measurement of collective dynamical mass of Dirac fermions in graphene

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Title: Measurement of collective dynamical mass of Dirac fermions in graphene
Author: Yoon, Hosang; Forsythe, Carlos; Wang, Lei; Tombros, Nikolaos; Watanabe, Kenji; Taniguchi, Takashi; Hone, James; Kim, Philip; Ham, Donhee

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Citation: Yoon, Hosang, Carlos Forsythe, Lei Wang, Nikolaos Tombros, Kenji Watanabe, Takashi Taniguchi, James Hone, Philip Kim, and Donhee Ham. 2014. “Measurement of Collective Dynamical Mass of Dirac Fermions in Graphene.” Nature Nanotechnology 9 (8) (June 22): 594–599. doi:10.1038/nnano.2014.112.
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Abstract: Individual electrons in graphene behave as massless quasiparticles1. Unexpectedly, it is inferred from plasmonic investigations that electrons in graphene must exhibit a non-zero mass when collectively excited. The inertial acceleration of the electron collective mass is essential to explain the behaviour of plasmons in this material, and may be directly measured by accelerating it with a time-varying voltage and quantifying the phase delay of the resulting current. This voltage–current phase relation would manifest as a kinetic inductance, representing the reluctance of the collective mass to accelerate. However, at optical (infrared) frequencies, phase measurements of current are generally difficult, and, at microwave frequencies, the inertial phase delay has been buried under electron scattering. Therefore, to date, the collective mass in graphene has defied unequivocal measurement. Here, we directly and precisely measure the kinetic inductance, and therefore the collective mass, by combining device engineering that reduces electron scattering and sensitive microwave phase measurements. Specifically, the encapsulation of graphene between hexagonal boron nitride layers, one-dimensional edge contacts and a proximate top gate configured as microwave ground together enable the inertial phase delay to be resolved from the electron scattering. Beside its fundamental importance, the kinetic inductance is found to be orders of magnitude larger than the magnetic inductance, which may be utilized to miniaturize radiofrequency integrated circuits. Moreover, its bias dependency heralds a solid-state voltage-controlled inductor to complement the prevalent voltage-controlled capacitor.
Published Version: doi:10.1038/nnano.2014.112
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