Putting the right kind of strain on a patch of graphene can make super-strong pseudo-magnetic fields, a new study says. The finding sheds new light on the properties of electromagnetism, not to mention the odd properties of graphene, according to researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. When graphene is stretched to form "nanobubbles," the stress causes electrons to behave as if they were subject to huge magnetic fields, the size of which have never been seen in a lab before. The study is published today in the journal Science.
Michael Crommie, a senior scientist in the Materials Sciences Division at Berkeley Lab and a physics professor at the University of California-Berkeley, says this is a completely new effect that has no counterpart in any other condensed matter system.