Two atoms thick... - A crystal made of electrons

Researchers from Tel Aviv University have engineered the world's tiniest technology, with a thickness of only two atoms. In the study, the researchers used a two-dimensional material: one-atom-thick layers of boron and nitrogen, arranged in a repetitive hexagonal structure. In their experiment, they were able to break the symmetry of this crystal by artificially assembling two such layers. Current state-of-the-art devices consist of tiny crystals that contain only about a million atoms (about a hundred atoms in height, width, and thickness) so that a million of these devices can be squeezed about a million times into the area of one coin, with each device switching at a speed of about a million times per second. Following the technological breakthrough, the researchers were able, for the first time, to reduce the thickness of the crystalline devices to two atoms only.

According to the researchers, the new technology proposes a way for storing electric information in the thinnest unit known to science, in one of the most stable and inert materials in nature. The allowed quantum-mechanical electron tunneling through the atomically thin film may boost the information reading process much beyond current technologies.

The research was performed by scientists from the Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Physics and Astronomy and Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Chemistry. The work is now published in Science magazine.

Read: https://phys.org/news/2021-06-world-thinnest-technologyonly-atoms-thick.html

Researchers at ETH Zurich have succeeded in observing a crystal that consists only of electrons. Such Wigner crystals were already predicted almost ninety years ago but could only now be observed directly in a semiconductor material. A team of researchers led by Ataç Imamoğlu, professor at the Institute for Quantum Electronics at ETH Zurich, have now produced a very special crystal. Unlike normal crystals, it consists exclusively of electrons. In doing so, they have confirmed a theoretical prediction that was made almost ninety years ago and which has since been regarded as a kind of holy grail of condensed matter physics. Their results were recently published in the scientific journal Nature.

Read: https://phys.org/news/2021-07-crystal-electrons.html

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