Feb 27, 2023

New quantum state boosts material’s conductivity by a billion percent

Posted by in categories: materials, quantum physics

Scientists at Georgia Tech have discovered a new quantum state in a quirky material. In a phenomenon never before seen in anything else, the team found that applying a magnetic field increased the material’s electrical conductivity by a billion percent.

Some materials are known to change their conductivity in response to a changing magnetic field, a property called magnetoresistance. But in the new study, the material does so to an incredible degree, exhibiting colossal magnetoresistance.

The material is an alloy of manganese, silicon and tellurium, which takes the form of octagonal cells arranged in a honeycomb pattern, and stacked in sheets. Electrons move around the outside of those octagons, but when there’s no magnetic field applied they travel in random directions, causing a traffic jam. That effectively makes the material act like an insulator.

Leave a reply