Plasmons are collective oscillations of the free electrons that can couple with a photon to create a quasiparticle called a plasma polariton, which scientists believe enable carbon-based electronics. Look for plasmons to be harnessed to enable semiconductors of graphene--pure carbon sheets--that outperform silicon semiconductors within five years. R.C.J.
Here is what researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory say about their discovery: Scientists working at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have discovered striking new details about the electronic structure of graphene, crystalline sheets of carbon just one atom thick. An international team led by Aaron Bostwick and Eli Rotenberg of the ALS found that composite particles called plasmarons play a vital role in determining graphene's properties...A theoretical model of plasmaron interactions in graphene, sheets of carbon one atom thick. The electric charge carriers in graphene are negative electrons and positive holes, which in turn are affected by plasmons-density oscillations that move like sound waves through the "liquid" of all the electrons in the material. A plasmaron is a composite particle, a charge carrier coupled with a plasmon...Understanding the relationships among these three kinds of particles-charge carriers, plasmons, and plasmarons-may hasten the day when graphene can be used for "plasmonics" to build ultrafast computers-perhaps even room-temperature quantum computers-plus a wide range of other tools and applications.
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