Researchers in Switzerland have discovered a way to create thin films with controllable electronic properties, which has implications for the future of sensors and computing.
A team at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute has developed a substance which, after heating on a copper surface, exhibits a two-dimensional network with nanometre-sized pores.
The electrons underneath the network are pushed into the pores to form small bunches of electrons called quantum dots.
Lead researcher Dr Meike Stohr commented: "The interaction of the network structure with the electron gas on the metal surface confines the electrons giving rise to a characteristic electron wave structure of the new material."
Pore networks such as these may be used as new meta-materials, which have specific optical and electronic properties which do not occur naturally.
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer institute in Switzerland recently announced a breakthrough in coupled superconductivity and magnetism in the material Cerium-Cobalt-Indium.