New revolutions in the field of microscopic materials technology are emerging. According to a recent press release from Yale University, this technology enables us to design new materials on a picometric scale. We are talking about a scale a thousand times smaller than the nanometer scale and a scale a million times smaller than the micrometer scale. Materials processed to this size make today’s nanomaterials appear enormous.
At Yale University, they already seem to be at the forefront of this particular sector. As Charles Ahn, Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science at Yale, points out, scientists are inventing new materials that can have a variety of features with extremely small dimensions, many of which may be very useful in different sectors.
For example, some of them can imitate brain neurons or work in the context of quantum mechanics for possible futuristic technologies that are hard to imagine. One example is a new study supervised by Ahn himself and published in Physical Review Letters.
Sangjae Lee, a student working in Ahn’s laboratory and the first author of the study, designed a new material that is an artificial layer crystal of lanthanum, titanium, cobalt and oxygen. The single-atom thick layers were placed on top of each other on an atomic level.
Lee himself explains this new project: “We were able to manipulate the components of the atoms with a precision much smaller than that of the atom. This type of new crystal can form the basis for the development of new magnetic materials in which a fine balance between magnetism and electronic conduction can be incorporated on such small scales into new transistor-like devices that have performance advantages over today’s transistors.”
The development of quantum materials for Yale University is a priority research area, also because some of these materials could be used in future computer systems, such as quantum materials, which will surpass all other computers or supercomputers today.
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