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(Sep.) Spin-orbit coupling in graphene enhanced by 2 orders of magnitude due to the proximity effect of WSe2, discovered by Prof. Ming-Hao Liu’s group in collaboration with the University of Hong Kong

Graphene is a two-dimensional material made of carbon atoms whose atomic number is only 6. Because of this, the spin-orbit coupling strength in graphene is known to be extremely weak, on the order of 0.1 meV. Transition-metal dichalcogenides, such as WSe2, exhibit not only strong spin-orbit couplings but also good insulating properties and are ideal candidates for substrates to enhance the spin-orbit coupling of graphene via the proximity effect. Collaborating with the experiment group led by Prof. Dong-Keun Ki at the University of Hong Kong, Prof. Ming-Hao Liu's theory group provided quantum transport simulations to support their transverse magnetic focusing experiment of graphene on WSe2, confirming the proximity effect with the spin-orbit coupling strength found to be 13 meV, which is two orders of magnitude of enhancement. This finding has been published in Nature Communications with the quantum transport simulations performed by the PhD student of our department, Wun-Hao Kang.

More on Nature Communications (2023)