Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have developed a device made of bilayer graphene, which provides experimental proof of the ability to control the momentum of electrons. The study is considered as a step forward in a new field of physics called valleytronics.
The team explains that current silicon-based transistor devices rely on the charge of electrons to turn the device on or off, but valleytronics looks into a new way to manipulate electrons based on other variables, called degrees of freedom. Charge is one degree of freedom. Electron spin is another, and the ability to build transistors based on spin, called spintronics, is still in the development stage. A third electronic degree of freedom is the valley state of electrons, which is based on their energy in relation to their momentum.