Experimental observation of the quantum Hall effect and Berry's phase in graphene

Nature. 2005 Nov 10;438(7065):201-4. doi: 10.1038/nature04235.


When electrons are confined in two-dimensional materials, quantum-mechanically enhanced transport phenomena such as the quantum Hall effect can be observed. Graphene, consisting of an isolated single atomic layer of graphite, is an ideal realization of such a two-dimensional system. However, its behaviour is expected to differ markedly from the well-studied case of quantum wells in conventional semiconductor interfaces. This difference arises from the unique electronic properties of graphene, which exhibits electron-hole degeneracy and vanishing carrier mass near the point of charge neutrality. Indeed, a distinctive half-integer quantum Hall effect has been predicted theoretically, as has the existence of a non-zero Berry's phase (a geometric quantum phase) of the electron wavefunction--a consequence of the exceptional topology of the graphene band structure. Recent advances in micromechanical extraction and fabrication techniques for graphite structures now permit such exotic two-dimensional electron systems to be probed experimentally. Here we report an experimental investigation of magneto-transport in a high-mobility single layer of graphene. Adjusting the chemical potential with the use of the electric field effect, we observe an unusual half-integer quantum Hall effect for both electron and hole carriers in graphene. The relevance of Berry's phase to these experiments is confirmed by magneto-oscillations. In addition to their purely scientific interest, these unusual quantum transport phenomena may lead to new applications in carbon-based electronic and magneto-electronic devices.