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Apr 28, 2017 09:29 AM EDT

A recent study has been conducted with similar results that would push quantum computing forward. The scientists were able to design a 2D material whose magnetic and electrical attributes could provide the basic building blocks of quantum computers.

Researchers from the University of California Irvine together with the University of California-Berkeley conducted studies on the nature of 2D states of novel materials to determine whether they can be used to enhance the speed and power of computers to new heights.

The study was conducted in extremely cold conditions and one significant element - using Dirac or Marjoram fermions. Unlike the electrons which are used in traditional silicon-based technologies these days, fermions have no mass but they move ultra-fast, almost at the speed of light.

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The studies were not without any challenges. One of their greatest challenges was how to handle micro-materials which were just two atoms thick. Jing Xia, an associate professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California-Irvine, said they had to use a fiber-optic Sagnac interferometer microscope which he built. The interferometer is very sensitive allowing scientists to see even the tiniest details. This device allowed them to optically measure the magnetism of the material.

The material in question was a compound called chromium germanium telluride or CGT, a cousin of graphene which is described as an ultra-thin atomic carbon film. They viewed the compound at minus 387 degrees Fahrenheit.

Graphene was considered as the best alternative to replace siliconScientists  in the next-generation computers and devices because electronic signals move faster on its surface. There is one problem though, graphene has no magnetic properties, which is very important in most computer components.
But what graphene is lacking, CGT has - it has both electronic and magnetic properties making it an ideal candidate to replace silicon.

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