Scientists shuffle atomic layers like playing cards to make new quantum materials

Materials scientists can now shuffle layered compounds together, much like combining two different decks of cards. The technique, recently discovered by a team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, is leading to development of new materials with unusual electron transport properties that have potential applications in next-generation quantum technologies.


“Now, we have demonstrated that we can mechanochemically design novel layered heterostructures, control their composition and tune their properties,” said Ihor Hlova, a scientist in the Divisions of Materials Sciences and Engineering at Ames Laboratory. “This opens a way to a variety of different combinations—the possibilities are basically unlimited.”

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