A team of researchers has created a new topological magnetic superlattice material that, at a high temperature, can conduct electrical current without dissipation and lost energy. The finding could be the basis of research leading to an entire new quantum materials class that can potentially provide a platform for error-free quantum computing.
The material, in the form of crystals, is created in a laboratory chamber. Atoms, in this process, naturally arrange into well-organized layers — a novel ordered magnetic superlattice. The research centers around the Quantum Anomalous Hall Effect (QAHE), which describes an insulator that conducts dissipation-less current in discrete channels on its surfaces. Because QAHE current does not lose energy as it travels, it is akin to a superconducting current and has the potential, if industrialized, to advance energy-efficient technologies.
The main advance of this work is that the new higher-temperature QAHE regime is robust, eminently tunable through electron irradiation and thermal vacancy redistribution, and can be modified on-demand by adjusting the superlattice sequence, leading to a platform for topological superconductivity. The researchers can advance this platform to other topological magnets. The ultimate goal would be to help transform future quantum electronics with the material.