New magnetic topological semimetal for more efficient electronics

July 25, 2017 by Barri Bronston, Tulane University
Image of new magnetic semimetal courtesy of Oak Ridge National Lab. Credit: Tulane University

A recent discovery by a team of researchers led by Tulane University advances fundamental knowledge that could one day lead to more energy-efficient computers, televisions, cellphones and other electronics.

The researchers' discovery of a new magnetic topological semimetal is featured in the latest edition of the prestigious journal Nature Materials.

The Tulane team was led by physics professor Zhiqiang Mao, the Tulane School of Science and Engineering's Outstanding Researcher for 2017. Mao's research, which focuses on quantum materials such as superconductors, magnetic materials and , was carried out in response to the need for better ways to power electronics, especially given continually shrinking transistors in smartphones and other devices. Topological semimetals represent a new quantum state of matter.

"The recent discoveries of topological materials—a new class of quantum materials—hold great promise for use in energy-saving electronics," Mao said.

The phrase "topological materials" refers to those where the current carrying electrons acts as if they have no mass, similar to the properties of photons, the particles that make up light.

"The result is expected to improve fundamental understanding of fascinating properties of topological semimetals," Mao said.

In addition to Mao, scientists from Tulane include research assistant professor Jin Hu, assistant professor Jiang Wei, graduate students Jinyu Liu, Yanglin Zhu and visiting scholar Goufeng Cheng. Other collaborators on the study include Louisiana State University, Oak Ridge National Lab, National High Magnetic Field Lab at Tallahassee and Los Alamos, Florida State University, and University of New Orleans.

Explore further: Researchers uncover new avenues for finding unique class of insulators

More information: J. Y. Liu et al. A magnetic topological semimetal Sr1−yMn1−zSb2 (y, z < 0.1), Nature Materials (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nmat4953

Related Stories

Observing electrons surfing waves of light on graphene

June 9, 2017

Researchers have studied how light can be used to observe the quantum nature of an electronic material. They captured light in graphene and slowed it down to the speed of the material's electrons. Then electrons and light ...

Recommended for you

How a particle may stand still in rotating spacetime

May 25, 2018

When a massive astrophysical object, such as a boson star or black hole, rotates, it can cause the surrounding spacetime to rotate along with it due to the effect of frame dragging. In a new paper, physicists have shown that ...

Long live the doubly charmed particle

May 25, 2018

Finding a new particle is always a nice surprise, but measuring its characteristics is another story and just as important. Less than a year after announcing the discovery of the particle going by the snappy name of Ξcc++ (Xicc++), ...

How can you tell if a quantum memory is really quantum?

May 23, 2018

Quantum memories are devices that can store quantum information for a later time, which are usually implemented by storing and re-emitting photons with certain quantum states. But often it's difficult to tell whether a memory ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.