Observing the Quantization of Zero Mass Carriers in Graphene

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Science  15 May 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5929, pp. 924-927
DOI: 10.1126/science.1171810

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Application of a magnetic field to conductors causes the charge carriers to circulate in cyclotron orbits with quantized energies called Landau levels (LLs). These are equally spaced in normal metals and two-dimensional electron gases. In graphene, however, the charge carrier velocity is independent of their energy (like massless photons). Consequently, the LL energies are not equally spaced and include a characteristic zero-energy state (the n = 0 LL). With the use of scanning tunneling spectroscopy of graphene grown on silicon carbide, we directly observed the discrete, non-equally–spaced energy-level spectrum of LLs, including the hallmark zero-energy state of graphene. We also detected characteristic magneto-oscillations in the tunneling conductance and mapped the electrostatic potential of graphene by measuring spatial variations in the energy of the n = 0 LL.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

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