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The kagome pattern, a network of corner-sharing triangles, is well known amongst traditional Japanese basket weavers—and condensed matter physicists. The unusual geometry of metal atoms in the kagome lattice and resulting electron behavior makes it a playground for probing weird and wonderful quantum phenomena that form the basis of next-generation device research.

A key example is unconventional—such as high-temperature—superconductivity, which does not follow the conventional laws of superconductivity. Most exhibit their seemingly magical property of zero resistance at a few degrees Kelvin: temperatures that are simply impractical for most applications. Materials that exhibit so-called 'high-temperature' superconductivity, at temperatures achievable with liquid nitrogen cooling (or even at room temperature), are a tantalizing prospect. Finding and synthesizing new materials that exhibit unconventional superconductivity has become the condensed matter physicist's Holy Grail—but getting there involves a deeper understanding of exotic, topological electronic behavior in materials.

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