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New Material Is Key Step Toward More Powerful Computing


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Lithium osmium oxide.

Oregon State University researchers have found that the inorganic compound lithium osmium oxide adopts a crystal structure capable of sustaining the state of matter known as quantum spin liquid.

Credit: oregonstate.edu

Oregon State University researchers have developed a compound that constitutes a significant advance toward quantum computing.

The inorganic compound, lithium osmium oxide, adopts a crystal structure capable of sustaining a new state of matter known as quantum spin liquid. Osmium atoms in the new compound form a honeycomb-like lattice, enforcing a "magnetic frustration" phenomenon that could lead to quantum spin liquid.

In a permanent magnet like a compass needle, the electrons all rotate in the same direction, but in a frustrated magnet, the atomic arrangement is such that electron spins are constantly fluctuating, the researchers say.

Lithium osmium oxide shows no evidence of magnetic order even when frozen to nearly absolute zero, which suggests an underlying quantum spin liquid state is possible for the compound, the researchers say.

They plan to explore the chemistry needed to create perfectly ordered crystal structures with osmium.

From Oregon State University News
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