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article imageNew form of electronic matter discovered

By Tim Sandle     Mar 23, 2018 in Science
Chicago - The existence of new form of electronic matter has been reported by scientists. This new phase is called called quadrupole topological insulators, previously predicted as part of theoretical physics.
Scientists from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have successfully produced a demonstration of a new phase of matter termed quadrupole topological insulators. These findings represent the first experimental demonstrations to validate what was, previously, just a theory.
What is interesting about the demonstration is that it used only a single circuit board, that when joined with others, to form the experimental array of the quadrupole topological insulator. Through this the researchers have taken an abstract theoretical concept and produced a macroscopic product.
According to one of the researchers, Gaurav Bahl: "Topological insulators are electrical insulators on the inside and conductors along their boundaries, and may hold great potential for helping build low-power, robust computers and devices, all defined at the atomic scale."
The research revealed that the theory of electrons in crystals can collectively giving rise not only to charge dipole units (pairings of positive and negative charges) but also high-order multipoles (four or eight charges are brought together), can be demonstrated. This was through designing a quadrupole, where two positive and two negative charges are coupled.
The implications of the research could be important for future generation electronics, such as storing data for communications and computing. According to, topological insulators have the potential to be used to build robust and precise waveguides for communications networks. Furthermore, these devices could be of use in the energy sector, for more efficient energy harvesting. Here energy from a diffuse surrounding source could be focused for technological use in the utilities sector.
The study has been published in the science journal Nature. The research paper is called "A quantized microwave quadrupole insulator with topologically protected corner states."
More about quadrupole topological insulators, Matter, materials, Electronics
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