Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers create artificial materials atom-by-atom

28.03.2017

Possibility to arrange the atoms precisely bring designer quantum materials closer to reality

Researchers at Aalto University have manufactured artificial materials with engineered electronic properties. By moving individual atoms under their microscope, the scientists were able to create atomic lattices with a predetermined electrical response.


The tip of a scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) above chlorine atoms that have been deliberately moved. By moving individual atoms under their microscope, scientists were able to arrange vacancies in a single layer of chlorine atoms and create atomic lattices with a predetermined electrical response.

Credit: Ella Maru Studio & Aalto University

The possibility to precisely arrange the atoms on a sample bring 'designer quantum materials' one step closer to reality. By arranging atoms in a lattice, it becomes possible to engineer the electronic properties of the material through the atomic structure.

Working at a temperature of four degrees Kelvin, the researchers used a scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) to arrange vacancies in a single layer of chlorine atoms supported on a copper crystal.

"The correspondence between atomic structure and electronic properties is of course what happens in real materials as well, but here we have complete control over the structure. In principle, we could target any electronic property and implement it experimentally", says Dr. Robert Drost who carried out the experiments at Aalto University.

Using their atomic assembly method, the research team demonstrated complete control by creating two real-life structures inspired by fundamental model systems with exotic electronic properties.

The approach is not limited to the chlorine system chosen by the research team either. The same method can be applied in many well-understood systems in surface and nanoscience and could even be adapted to mesoscopic systems, such as quantum dots, which are controlled through lithographic processes.

"There are many fascinating theoretical proposals that don't exist in real materials. This is our chance to test these ideas experimentally", explains Academy Research Fellow Teemu Ojanen at Aalto University.

###

The study was performed at Aalto University's Department of Applied Physics and the groups are parts of the Academy of Finland's Centres of Excellence in Low Temperature Quantum Phenomena and Devices (LTQ) and Computational Nanosciences (COMP). The Aalto Centre for Quantum Engineering (CQE), Academy of Finland and the European Research Council (ERC) funded the research. A consortia funding application to further pursue designer matter is currently under review.

Media Contact

Peter Liljeroth
peter.liljeroth@aalto.fi
358-503-636-115

 @aaltouniversity

http://www.aalto.fi/en/ 

Peter Liljeroth | EurekAlert!

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole
22.02.2018 | Royal Astronomical Society

nachricht UMass Amherst physicists contribute to dark matter detector success
22.02.2018 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stiffness matters

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole

22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals

22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>