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MIT Research News

March 5, 2018

Insulator or superconductor? Physicists find graphene is both

When rotated at a "magic angle," graphene sheets can form an insulator or a superconductor.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office

It’s hard to believe that a single material can be described by as many superlatives as graphene can. Since its discovery in 2004, scientists have found that the lacy, honeycomb-like sheet of carbon atoms — essentially the most microscopic shaving of pencil lead you can imagine — is not just the thinnest material known in the world, but also incredibly light and flexible, hundreds of times stronger than steel, and more electrically conductive than copper.