Jul, 2021 - By WMR
A new experiment was conducted to experimentally convert electrons into solid crystal forms on the basis of physicist Mr. Wigner’s proposed theory.
Solid crystal forms were created by researchers that were entirely made up of electrons in labs. The researchers from ETH Zurich performed an experiment to structure a solid electron and structured it experimentally. Usually, the nature of electron is like a fluid that keeps flowing through the matter of material. However in 1934, theoretical physicists Mr. Eugene Wigner anticipated crystallization of group of electrons into solid form under certain conditions. The mechanism is now known as Wigner crystals.
The crystallization of electrons was conducted under the right balance of forces that affect electrons. These forces are motional energy and electrostatic repulsion force of electrons. There is another powerful force that makes electrons bounce randomly. Wigner proposed that the reduction in this bouncing force could stabilize the electrons and repulsion force would lock them in to a solid crystal form. The density of electrons also plays a vital role in the process. The density need to be lowered down beyond a certain point so that electrons fit into the trap of crystallising. Further, it needs to be cooled down up to absolute zero to restrict its interaction with surrounding and turn in to solid form.
Following the theory, the research team experimented to create a Wigner crystal. They used one-atom sheet of molybdenum diselenide and restricted the movement of electrons in two-dimensions. The sheet was inserted between two graphene electrodes to control the number of electrons within and a careful voltage was passed through it. At the end, whole system was cooled down at absolute zero to crystallize the electrons. However, the size of the crystal formed was so tiny to observe, around 20 nanometres. To observe Wigner crystal, the team shone the light on the material at particular frequency that would emit light back and show the position of electrons. The researchers noticed the position Wigner crystal to be at stationary in emitted light.