Achieving 3D in a Quantum Hall System
SUTD team helps make leap in quantum mechanics
Excerpts and salient points ~
+ The quantum world is already playing a huge role in technology. One of its most striking behaviours is the “quantum Hall effect” (QHE). Electricity in a quantum Hall system can be conducted without losing energy, which makes it possible for future electronics to be much more energy-efficient and more powerful.
Said Prof Yang: “With this result, we expect interesting phenomena to be discovered. “We can better understand new materials that can have applications in electronics and computing.”
+ But until now, researchers had been able to achieve this effect only in 2D systems, such as crystals that are only an atom thick. Scientists struggled to bring it to 3D – the state that most materials exist in – and this severely limited the future applications that QHE could have in computing and electronics.
+ The breakthrough, reported in the journal Nature, had been predicted to be possible by physicist Bertrand Halperin in 1987, but it took over 30 years for scientists to achieve it because the conditions for the QHE in 3D are very restrictive. The materials which scientists use have to be extremely pure and very cold (near absolute zero), and allow the electrons to move easily.
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