The development of new information and communication technologies poses new challenges to scientists and industry. Designing new quantum materials -- whose exceptional properties stem from quantum physics -- is the most promising way to meet these challenges. An international team led by the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and including researchers from the universities of Salerno, Utrecht and Delft, has designed a material in which the dynamics of electrons can be controlled by curving the fabric of space in which they evolve. These properties are of interest for next-generation electronic devices, including the optoelectronics of the future. These results can be found in the journal Nature Materials.

The telecommunications of the future will require new, extremely powerful electronic devices. These must be capable of processing electromagnetic signals at unprecedented speeds, in the picosecond range, i.e. one thousandth of a billionth of a second. This is unthinkable with current semiconductor materials, such as silicon, which is widely used in the electronic components of our telephones, computers and game consoles. To achieve this, scientists and industry are focusing on the design of new quantum materials.

Thanks to their unique properties -- especially the collective reactions of the electrons that compose them -- these quantum materials could be used to capture, manipulate and transmit information-carrying signals (for example photons, in the case of quantum telecommunications) within new electronic devices. Moreover, they can operate in electromagnetic frequency ranges that have not yet been explored and would thus open the way to very high-speed communication systems.

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