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The best combination

In the search for new quantum materials, the smallest details in the combination sometimes make the crucial difference

Topological quantum materials are the materials that have topologically protected surface states with unique electronic properties. Such materials are of particular interest for future electronic applications.

One family of such materials are so-called layered van der Waals transition metal tellurides. Some compounds of this family are topological semimetals, while others are the first examples of ferroelectric metals.

Interestingly, all these compounds share common features in their crystal structure. However, even minimal variations in the material composition lead to changes in the crystal lattice and thus to new physical properties. If we succeed in understanding the structure of these materials even better, these results will provide more accurate bases for theory models. Consequently, these in turn can also derive more precise calculations.

For that reason, one research group has studied the TaTMTe4 family of materials in detail. In this process, the elements tantalum and tellurium are combined in various alloys with iridium, rhodium or ruthenium and examined for their structure property relationship.

Depending on how and, above all, in what quantity the individual elements are combined, the magnetoresistance or superconductivity of the materials changes, for example. It's all about the tiny details of the combination. These are essential findings in the ongoing process of exploring the most suitable topological quantum materials for future electronic applications.

Original publication:
"Layered van der Waals Topological Metals of TaTMTe4 (TM = Ir, Rh, Ru) Family"

Dr. S. Aswartham