Theoretical physicists design ‘holy grail’ of materials science

11 marzo 2015

Graphene is a form of carbon in which the atoms are connected in a honeycomb structure. The possible ‘holy grail’ has this same structure, but is made of nanocrystals of mercury and tellurium. In their paper, theoretical physicists show that this material combines the properties of graphene with the qualities graphene misses. At room temperature, it is a semiconductor instead of a conductor, so that it can be used as a field-effect transistor. And it fulfils the conditions required to realise quantum spintronics, because it may host the quantum spin Hall effect at room temperature.