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Electron Hydrodynamics in Graphene: Fundamentals and Application

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Joanna Waldie.

Transport in systems with many particles experiencing frequent mutual collisions (such as gases or liquids) has been studied for more than two centuries and is accurately described by the theory of hydrodynamics. It has been argued theoretically for a long time that the collective behaviour of charge carriers in solids can also be treated by the hydrodynamic approach. However, despite many attempts, very little evidence of hydrodynamic electron transport has been found so far.

Graphene encapsulated between hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) offers an ideal platform to study electron hydrodynamics as it hosts an ultra-clean electronic system with electron-electron collisions being the dominant scattering source above liquid nitrogen temperatures. In the first part of my talk we will discuss why electron hydrodynamics has not been observed before and how it manifests itself in electron transport. Furthermore, it will be shown that electrons in graphene can behave as a very viscous fluid (more viscous than honey) forming vortices of applied electron current [1]. In the second part, we will discuss the measurements of the viscosity of an electron fluid by its superballistic flow through graphene point contacts [2]. Then we will talk about the behaviour of electron fluids in the presence of magnetic field where I will report the experimental measurements of the Hall viscosity in two dimensions [3]. This dissipationless transport coefficient has been widely discussed in theoretical literature on fluid mechanics, plasma physics and condensed matter physics, yet, until now, any experimental evidence has been lacking, making the phenomenon truly a unicorn. Last but not least, we will discuss how electron hydrodynamics can be used for the development of terahertz photodetectors where I report some recent progress in this direction [4].

[1] Negative Local Resistance Caused by Viscous Electron Backflow in Graphene, D. A. Bandurin, A. Principi, G.H. Auton, E. Khestanova, K.S. Novoselov, I. V Grigorieva, L.A. Ponomarenko, A.K. Geim, and M. Polini, Science 351, 1055 (2016).

[2] Superballistic Flow of Viscous Electron Fluid through Graphene Constrictions, R. Krishna Kumar, D.A. Bandurin, F.M.D. Pellegrino, Y. Cao, A. Principi, H. Guo, G.H. Auton, M. Ben Shalom, L.A. Ponomarenko, G. Falkovich, I. V. Grigorieva, L.S. Levitov, M. Polini, and A.K. Geim, Nat. Phys. 13, 1182 (2017).

[3] Measuring Hall viscosity of Graphene’s Electron Fluid, I. Berdyugin, S. G. Xu, F. M. D. Pellegrino, R. Krishna Kumar, A. Principi, I. Torre, M. Ben Shalom, T. Taniguchi, K. Watanabe, I. V. Grigorieva, M. Polini, A. K. Geim and D. A. Bandurin, to appear on arxiv soon.

[4] Dual Origin of Room Temperature Sub-terahertz Photoresponse in Graphene Field Effect Transistors, D. A. Bandurin, I. Gayduchenko, Y. Cao, M. Moskotin, A. Principi, I. V. Grigorieva, G. Goltsman, G. Fedorov, and D. Svintsov, Appl. Phys. Lett. 112, 141101 (2018).

This talk is part of the Semiconductor Physics Group Seminars series.

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