The discovery of an unprecedented physical effect in a new artificial material marks a significant milestone in the lengthy process of developing "made-to-order" materials and more energy-efficient electronics.
Today's silicon-based electronics consume a substantial and ever-increasing share of the world's energy. A number of researchers are exploring the properties of materials that are more complex than silicon but that show promise for the electronic devices of tomorrow—and that are less electricity-hungry. In keeping with this approach, scientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have been working in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), the University of Zurich, the Flatiron Institute of New York and the University of Liège. The scientists have discovered a hitherto-unknown physical phenomenon in an artificial material made up of very thin layers of nickelates. This could be exploited to accurately control some of the material's electronic properties, such as the sudden transition from a conductive to an insulating state. It could also be used to develop new, more energy-efficient devices. You can read about this technological advance in the journal Nature Materials.To read more, click here.