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Novel Material Demonstrates Quantum Properties

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ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 6, 2018 — Researchers have discovered a novel material with multiple quantum properties: Hf2Te2P, a material that is chemically composed of hafnium, tellurium, and phosphorus. The team is using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) and first-principles electronic structure calculations to characterize the metallic material.

In experiments using ARPES, the University of Central Florida (UCF) team has observed weak topological insulator surface states in Hf2Te2P. The team’s calculations suggest additional strong topological insulator surface states.

Madhab Neupane and his research team with the in-house ARPES system. From left to right: Gyanendra Dhakal (graduate student), Klauss Dimitri (undergraduate student), Md Mofazzel Hosen (graduate student), Madhab Neupane, Christopher Sims (graduate student), Firoza Kabir (graduate student). Courtesy of University of Central Florida.
Madhab Neupane and his research team with the in-house ARPES system. Left to right: Gyanendra Dhakal (graduate student), Klauss Dimitri (undergraduate student), Md Mofazzel Hosen (graduate student), Madhab Neupane, Christopher Sims (graduate student), Firoza Kabir (graduate student). Courtesy of University of Central Florida.

“With the discovery of such an incredible material, we are at the brink of having a deeper understanding of the interplay of topological phases and developing the foundation for a new model from which all technology will be based off, essentially the silicon of a new era,” said professor Madhab Neupane, leader of the research team.

The discovery of topological insulators (TI) has strengthened research efforts into surface states in a wider group of quantum materials, including bulk insulators, semimetals, and metals, for the development of materials that could significantly reduce the amount of energy required to power electronics.

“Our discovery takes us one step closer to the application of quantum materials and helps us gain a deeper understanding of the interactions between various quantum phases,” Neupane said.

The research was published in Nature Communications (doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05233-1).

Published: August 2018
Glossary
quantum
The term quantum refers to the fundamental unit or discrete amount of a physical quantity involved in interactions at the atomic and subatomic scales. It originates from quantum theory, a branch of physics that emerged in the early 20th century to explain phenomena observed on very small scales, where classical physics fails to provide accurate explanations. In the context of quantum theory, several key concepts are associated with the term quantum: Quantum mechanics: This is the branch of...
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