International researchers have proposed a way to turn graphene into a semiconductor, enabling it to control the flow of electrons with a laser "on-off switch.” Illuminating graphene with a mid-infrared laser could be a key to switch off conduction, thereby improving the possibilities for novel optoelectronic devices, according to the team.
"Imagine that by turning on the light, graphene conduction is turned off, or vice versa. This would allow the transduction of optical into electrical signals," says Luis Foa Torres, the researcher leading this collaboration. "The problem of graphene interacting with radiation is also of current interest for the understanding of more exotic states of matter such as the topological insulators.
The research team is comprised of researchers from the National University of Córdoba and CONICET in Argentina; the Institut Catala de Nanotecnologia in Barcelona, Spain; and RWTH Aachen University, Germany; The work appears in Applied Physics Letters.