A new way to combine two materials with special electrical properties—a monolayer superconductor and a topological insulator—provides the best platform to date to explore an unusual form of superconductivity called topological superconductivity. The combination could provide the basis for topological quantum computers that are more stable than their traditional counterparts.
Superconductors—used in powerful magnets, digital circuits, and imaging devices—allow the electric current to pass without resistance, while topological insulators are thin films only a few atoms thick that restrict the movement of electrons to their edges, which can result in unique properties. A team led by researchers at Penn State describe how they have paired the two materials in a paper appearing Oct. 27 in the journal Nature Materials.
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