A TU/e and Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology-led collaboration involving researchers from around the world has the answer, and the why, and the results have been published in the journal Science Advances.

Electrons carry , while vibrational energy is carried by phonons. Understanding how they interact with each other in certain materials, like in a sandwich of two graphene layers, will have implications for future optoelectronic devices.

Recent work has revealed that graphene layers twisted relative to each other by a small "magic angle" can act as perfect insulator or superconductor. But the physics of the electron–phonon interactions are a mystery. As part of a worldwide , TU/e researcher Klaas-Jan Tielrooij has led a study on electron–phonon interactions in graphene layers. And they have made a startling discovery.

What did the electron say to the phonon between two layers of graphene? This might sound like the start of a physics meme with a hilarious punchline to follow. But that's not the case according to Klaas-Jan Tielrooij. He's an associate professor at the Department of Applied Physics and Science Education at TU/e and the research lead of the new work published in Science Advances.

"We sought to understand how electrons and phonons 'talk' to each other within two twisted ," says Tielrooij.

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