Authors: George Rajna
Topological insulators, an exciting, relatively new class of materials, are capable of carrying electricity along the edge of the surface, while the bulk of the material acts as an electrical insulator. Practical applications for these materials are still mostly a matter of theory, as scientists probe their microscopic properties to better understand the fundamental physics that govern their peculiar behavior.  A Florida State University research team has discovered a new crystal structure of organic-inorganic hybrid materials that could open the door to new applications for optoelectronic devices like light-emitting diodes and lasers.  Researchers have built a record energy-efficient switch, which uses the interplay of electricity and a liquid form of light, in semiconductor microchips. The device could form the foundation of future signal processing and information technologies, making electronics even more efficient.  The magnetic structure of a skyrmion is symmetrical around its core; arrows indicate the direction of spin.  According to current estimates, dozens of zettabytes of information will be stored electronically by 2020, which will rely on physical principles that facilitate the use of single atoms or molecules as basic memory cells.  EPFL scientists have developed a new perovskite material with unique properties that can be used to build next-generation hard drives.  Scientists have fabricated a superlattice of single-atom magnets on graphene with a density of 115 terabits per square inch, suggesting that the configuration could lead to next-generation storage media.  Now a researcher and his team at Tyndall National Institute in Cork have made a 'quantum leap' by developing a technical step that could enable the use of quantum computers sooner than expected.  A method to produce significant amounts of semiconducting nanoparticles for light-emitting displays, sensors, solar panels and biomedical applications has gained momentum with a demonstration by researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 
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[v1] 2017-01-04 11:30:13
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