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Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) say they have carried out a theoretical analysis showing that a family of 2-D materials exhibits exotic quantum properties that may enable a new type of nanoscale electronics.

These materials are predicted to show a phenomenon called the quantum spin Hall (QSH) effect, and belong to a class of materials known as transition metal dichalcogenides, with layers a few atoms thick. The findings are detailed in a paper appearing in Science, co-authored by MIT postdoctoral researchers Xiaofeng Qian and Junwei Liu; assistant professor of physics Liang Fu; and Ju Li, a professor of nuclear science and engineering and materials science and engineering.

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