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Claiming that something has a defect normally suggests an undesirable feature. That's not the case in solid-state systems, such as the semiconductors at the heart of modern classical electronic devices. They work because of defects introduced into the rigidly ordered arrangement of atoms in crystalline materials like silicon. Surprisingly, in the quantum world, defects also play an important role.

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Chicago and scientific institutes and universities in Japan, Korea and Hungary have established guidelines that will be an invaluable resource for the discovery of new defect-based quantum systems. The international team published these guidelines in Nature Reviews Materials.

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