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In a potentially groundbreaking new study, scientists have discovered how to make a graphene superconductor in the material’s natural state. These researchers found that two graphene layers on top of one another can conduct electrons with zero resistance if they are twisted at a “magic angle.”

Researchers brought this incredible property out of graphene almost by accident. They were exploring what the orientation known as the “magic angle,” or 1.1 degrees, would do to graphene; theories have long predicted that offsetting atoms in layers of 2D material by 1.1 degrees would make electrons behave interestingly, but scientists haven’t known just how interestingly.

After the researchers applied a small electric field the two sheets became a superconductor, and continued to display these properties in multiple experiments. “We have produced all of this in different devices and measured it with collaborators. This is something in which we’re very confident,” said Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, a physicist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), to Nature.

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Category: Science