Ultra-thin designer materials unlock quantum phenomena

1-D Majorana Zero energy form at the edge of a 2-D topological superconductor. Credit: Aalto University

Physicists at Aalto University have designed a new ultra-thin material that they have used to create elusive quantum states. 

Called one-dimensional Majorana Zero energy Modes (MZMs), these quantum states could have a huge impact for quantum computing.

A new type of qubit, called a topological qubit, could be less sensitive to noise and interference, and 1D Majorana zero energy modes may be the key to making them.

MZMs are groups of electrons bound together in a specific way so they behave like a particle called a Majorana fermion. If Majorana’s theoretical particles could be bound together, they would work as a topological qubit. To make MZMs, researchers need incredibly small materials. MZMs are formed by giving a group of electrons a very specific amount of energy, and then trapping them together so they can’t escape. To achieve this, the materials need to be 2-dimensional, and as thin as physically possible. To create 1D MZMs, the team needed to make an entirely new type of 2-D material: a topological superconductor. (Aalto University)

The paper has been published in Nature.

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