Scientists have found a way to create a special material that could help in developing cost-effective and superfast computers that can perform lightning-fast calculations without getting overheat.
The engineers at the University of Utah have created a metal layer on top of a silicon semiconductor that could lead to the supercomputers.
Materials science and Engineering professor Feng Liu, from the University of Utah, who led the study explained that they have developed a new “topological insulator” that has the potential to behave in two ways—Firstly like an insulator on the inside and secondly conducting electricity on the outside.
The researchers are hopeful that the new creation may pave the way for development of quantum computers and fast spintronic devices.
Ever since the researchers discovered almost a decade ago that the topological insulators can be used as a class of material designed to speed up computers, the global scientists have been trying to develop a topological insulator that creates a large energy gap, i.e. the amount of energy consumed by the electrons to conduct electricity in a given material while allowing the electricity to be conducted on a material’s surface so that a computer can be operated at the room temperature while remaining stable.
The University of Utah team found that bismuth metal deposited on the silicon can lead to the creation of a more stable and large-gap topological insulator. Moreover, the process can be cost-effective, the team stressed.
As the bismuth layer is atomically bonded and electronically isolated from the silicon layer, it leads to the creation of a large energy gap.
“It has the largest energy gap that was ever predicted. It makes room-temperature applications a possibility for topological insulator-based devices or computers,” Liu said.
Quantum computers, which scientists have been struggling to develop from a long time, would be based on the principles of quantum mechanics. Researchers said that such computers could be theoretically billions of times faster than the conventional computers. The quantum computing can be possibly used in a variety of purposes including in security systems big data centers and encryption.
The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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