A project led by researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) has yielded a topographical insulator (TI) "heterostructure" rendering TI surfaces magnetic at room temperature and higher.
UCR professor Jing Shi says the quantum anomalous Hall effect can support an extremely small TI device with long-lasting batteries.
Two years ago, Shi's lab produced heterostructures of magnetic films and single-atom-thick graphene materials via laser molecular beam epitaxy.
"The materials have to be in intimate contact for TI to acquire magnetism," Shi notes. "If the surface is rough, there won't be good contact. We're good at taking this magnetic film atomically flat, so no extra atoms are sticking out."
Collaborators at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology used molecular beam epitaxy to build 25 atomic TI layers on top of the magnetic sheets, and then the heterostructure went back to UCR for device fabrication and measurements.
From UCR Today
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