An electron has a magnetic field attached -- the so-called spin. One can imagine that all electrons carry around a little bar magnet. In flat graphite layers the small bar magnets point in random directions. By bending the atom thin graphite layer into a tube with a diameter of just a few nanometers the individual electrons are forced to move in simple circles around the tube and all the spins align in the direction of the tube. This feature can be used in future nanoelectronics.
Thomas Sand Jespersen, postdoc, Nanophysics, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen
Credit:Thomas Sand Jespersen, Nanophysics, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen