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Quantum dots made of molecular graphene containing pentagon-shaped defects could form the basis of a new generation of quantum sensors. This is the finding of researchers in the UK and Germany who made the dots, or “graphenoids”, using a bottom-up chemical process rather than the top-down methods usually employed to create such nanostructures. The researchers say that such graphenoids could be employed in carbon-based devices that exploit quantum-mechanical effects to sense their environment.

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