When compressed, nanoribbons of titanium and sulfur can change properties dramatically, turning into materials with the ability to conduct electricity without losing energy, according to a study published in the journal Nano Letters.

The authors have made the discovery during their painstaking search for new that can transmit without loss of , a hot topic that has for long haunted the scientific community.

"Our research focuses on one such promising material: TiS3 nanoribbons, which are tiny, ribbon-like structures made of titanium and sulfur. In their natural state, TiS3 nanoribbons act as insulators, meaning they do not conduct electricity well," says Mahmoud Rabie Abdel-Hafez, an associate professor at University of Sharjah's Department of Applied Physics and Astronomy.

"However, we discovered that by applying to these nanoribbons, we could change their electrical properties dramatically," adds Abdel-Hafez, who is the study's main author.

The scientists exposed TiS3 to gradual pressure. As they increased the pressure, they found that the TiS3 system underwent a series of transitions, from being insulators to becoming metals and superconductors, for the first time.

TiS3 materials are known to work as good insulators, but it is the first time scientists have discovered that under pressure they can function as superconductors, paving the way for the development of superconducting materials.

To read more, click here.