Graphene’s Record-High Magnetoresistance

Researchers from the University of Manchester report record-high magnetoresistance in graphene under ambient conditions, publishing their findings in Nature. Potential applications include vehicles and computers with multiple tiny magnetic sensors. These materials are rare, and most metals and semiconductors change their electrical resistivity very little at room temperature and in practically viable magnetic fields.

The research team found that graphene exhibits a remarkably strong response, reaching above 100% in magnetic fields of standard permanent magnets—a record magnetoresistivity in all known materials.

The researchers used high-quality graphene and tuned it to its intrinsic, virgin state where only charge carriers were excited by temperature. This created a plasma of fast-moving “Dirac fermions” exhibiting surprisingly high mobility despite frequent scattering.

The researchers also found that, at elevated temperatures, neutral graphene becomes a “strange metal” where electron scattering is ultimately fast, determined only by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. The current Manchester research lends important clues about the origins of the strange metal behavior and the linear magnetoresistance.

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