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Quantum Tech: Semiconductor 'Flipped' to Insulator Above Room Temp


This electron microscopy image shows the atoms within individual two-dimensional layers of tantalum sulfide after the heat treating process.

“We’ve opened up a new playground for the future of electronic and quantum materials,” said Robert Hovden, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Michigan.

A semiconducting material that performed a quantum "flip" from a conductor to an insulator above room temperature has been developed at the University of Michigan (U-M). It potentially brings the world closer to a new generation of quantum devices and ultra-efficient electronics.

Observed in two-dimensional layers of tantalum sulfide only a single atom thick, the exotic electronic structure that supported this quantum flip was previously only stable at ultra-cold temperatures of -100 degrees Fahrenheit. The new material remains stable at up to 170 F.

"We've opened up a new playground for the future of electronic and quantum materials," said Robert Hovden, U-M assistant professor of materials science and engineering and corresponding author of the study in Nature Communications. "It represents a whole new way to access exotic states."

From University of Michigan News
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