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Uncovering unique properties in a two-dimensional crystal: Potential for optoelectronics, solar cells, valleytronics

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TechAndComputer (Dec. 3, 2012) — When the dry lubricant, molybdenum disulfide, is stripped down to a single layer of atoms, a tightly bound quasi-particle composed of two electrons and a hole forms with unique spin and valley properties, researchers from Case Western Reserve University and colleagues discovered.

These charged quasi-particles, called negative trions, can be manipulated to change the light absorbed and emitted from this two-dimensional semi-conducting crystal, opening it to potential use in new solar cells and other electronic devices that are controlled by light or designed to control light.

The discovery also opens up new opportunities to study what physicists call "many-body interactions"--in this...

Bismuth provides perfect dance partners for quantum computing qubits

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TechAndComputer (Dec. 2, 2012) — New research has demonstrated a way to make bismuth electrons and nuclei work together as qubits in a quantum computer.

The discovery, published in Nature Materials, takes us a key step further to creating practical quantum computing which could tackle complex programs that would otherwise take the lifetime of the universe to finish.

The collaboration partners are based in the University of Warwick, UCL, ETH Zurich and the USA Sandia...

Important progress for spintronics: Spin amplifier works at room temperature

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A schematic picture of the defect-engineered spin amplifier demonstrated in this work. The wave pattern symbolizes the time variation of the spin signal, namely the difference between the numbers of spin-up and spin-down electrons. The red and blue arrows represent the period with more spin-up and spin-down electrons, respectively. The amplitude of the wave reflects the strength of the spin signal, which is weak before entering the spin amplifier but becomes stronger when exiting. The...

New class of unconventional superconductors

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TechAndComputer (July 3, 2012) — Researchers at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and at the universities of Kent, Bristol and Huddersfield, in England, have discovered a new class of very exotic unconventional superconductors.

Superconductivity is one of the most fascinating phenomena known to humankind. When a superconductor is cooled below its 'critical temperature', the fluid of electrons, which is responsible for the conduction of electricity through the material...

Microscopy reveals 'atomic antenna' behavior in graphene

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TechAndComputer (Jan. 31, 2012) — Atomic-level defects in graphene could be a path forward to smaller and faster electronic devices, according to a study led by researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

With unique properties and potential applications in areas from electronics to biodevices, graphene, which consists of a single sheet of carbon atoms, has been hailed as a rising star in the materials world. Now, an ORNL study published in Nature...