New armour for fragile quantum technology

FLEET PhD student Matthias Wurdack. Credit: Phil Dooley ANU

An international team of scientists has invented the equivalent of body armour for extremely fragile quantum systems, which will make them robust enough to be used as the basis for a new generation of low-energy electronics.

The scientists applied the armour by gently squashing droplets of liquid metal gallium onto the materials, coating them with gallium oxide.

Protection is crucial for thin materials such as graphene, which are only a single atom thick—essentially two-dimensional (2-D) – and so are easily damaged by conventional layering technology.

This work promises lower-energy alternatives for electronics and optoelectronics, by harnessing the superior performance of 2-D semiconducting materials, such as tungsten disulphide, which was used in this study. (

The paper has been published in Advanced Materials.

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