New states of matter in graphene discovered that are useful for quantum computers

A group of physicists has discovered the existence of “previously unknown states of matter” in graphene, the best-known two-dimensional nanomaterial. These states of matter, according to the researchers, arise from complex interactions of electrons in the graphene layers.

As explained by Jia Li, a professor of physics at Brown University, one of the authors of the research, “the stacking of 2D materials in close proximity generates a completely new physics.” The same discovery could be useful on a practical level for the creation of electronic devices that exploit these phenomena that fall within the complex of the phenomenon called the fractional quantum Hall effect.

The latter is the quantum version of the Hall effect that occurs when a conductor is applied perpendicularly to the current flow of a magnetic field, which creates a transverse voltage. In particular, as Jim Hone, a professor of mechanical engineering and author of the study, explains, the results would prove useful for creating quantum computers that could more efficiently withstand faults.

These new states have different potentials including the one related to the fact that electrons can maintain a sort of “memory” of their past positions, which would allow quantum computers to not have to correct errors.