Together with research colleagues in Berlin, Grenoble, Graz and Brünn, the researchers at Johannes Kepler University Linz have demonstrated that certain material classes i.e. topological insulators display different properties in their cores than on the surface. This means that when one cuts these materials in a certain direction, the surface conducts electricity. The electricity can subsequently flow on this surface without interference, according to the physicist Arthur Ernst of the research team in Linz.
The main focal point of this research is to develop new electronic components which are more powerful and consume less electricity. For example, these components can be used in quantum computers, says Gunther Springholz of the Institute of Semiconductor and Solid State Physics. According to Springholz, the numerous projects implemented by large companies show the need for this type of research. "There are large projects on the part of Google, Microsoft and IBM researching in the direction of quantum computers. A key pre-requisite for this is to find suitable materials with which this can be realised".
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