New Material Boosts Computing Power & Memory

The University of Minnesota Synthesizes Innovative Topological Half-Metal

In a groundbreaking achievement, researchers from the University of Minnesota have successfully synthesized a thin layer of a special topological half-metal, capable of providing substantial computing power and memory volume while consuming significantly less energy. This exciting development has been published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.

With the ever-increasing demand for semiconductor production, the emergence of new materials for electronic devices has become a top priority, as highlighted by the recently enacted law of Chips and Science USA. Quantum materials, such as topological half-metals, exhibit unique properties that are absent in conventional insulators and metals utilized in current electronics.

The focal point of this study was to utilize magnetic additives to transition from a weak topological insulator to a topological half-metal. According to Jian-Ping Wang, one of the senior authors of the publication, this breakthrough has the potential to enhance the lifespan of devices and significantly reduce energy consumption.

Emphasizing the importance of this research in minimizing energy consumption in everyday electronics, Andre Mkhoyan, another senior author of the study, highlighted the significance of this area of research.

The key characteristic of this novel material lies in its response to magnetic fields. Unlike most materials, the resistance of this topological half-metal decreases when exposed to a magnetic field.

The successful execution of this study was made possible through the collaborative efforts of specialists from various disciplines. The research received support from SMART, one of the seven NCORE centers, and was partially funded by the University of Minnesota and the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST).

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