Their findings, which involved using a special mix of materials with magnetic and insulator properties, are published online in Nature Physics.
Study co-authors in China combined chromium and vanadium as magnetic elements with an insulator consisting of bismuth, antimony and tellurium. When electrons in this special material are aligned in one direction – like a compass needle pointing north – an electric current can only flow along its edges in one direction, leading to zero energy loss. That means electricity could be conducted between transistors within silicon chips used in computers and other electronics with maximum efficiency.
Current silicon chips use primarily metal for electrical interconnections in transistors, but that leads to substantial energy loss, Wu said.
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