Date of Submission

Spring 2013

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Paul Cadden-Zimansky

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Graphene, a recently discovered allotrope of carbon, is the first purely two-dimensional material to be experimentally isolated to date. It possesses unprecedented electrical, me- chanical, optical and thermal properties, providing boundless opportunities for environ- mental and technological applications; thinner than paper, stronger than steel, lighter than a feather, more conductive than copper and practically invisible, graphene has been deemed a wonder material. Even a decade after its isolation, it continues to fascinate the scientific world. Confining a material to two dimensions imposes certain restrictions on electronic transport that stimulate unconventional properties; in graphene, these qualities are revealed through, and explained by, its function as a zero-gap semiconductor with massless Dirac fermions as charge carriers. This thesis investigates the curious electronic properties expressed by this new material in both a theoretical and experimental manner; a theoretical framework is provided with the purpose of providing a basis for understand- ing how graphene’s electronic properties can be determined experimentally via the integer quantum Hall effect (IQHE). A measurement of the IQHE is then conducted and acts to supplement the theories originally presented. The data obtained through the quantum Hall measurement demonstrates signs of the quantized resistance/conductance character- istic of the IQHE, but does not manifest the entirety of the expected results. Experimental methods, including fabrication process and initial laboratory setup, are explained, along with a discussion of the experimental results and possible reasons for the data’s deviation from original predictions.

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