Corvallis, USA: Oregon State University (OSU) researchers have developed a new material that could be a key step towards the next generation of supercomputers. Those “quantum computers” are expected to solve problems well beyond the reach of existing computers while working much faster and consuming significantly less energy.
The team developed an inorganic compound that adopts a crystal structure that can sustain a new state of matter known as “quantum spin liquid”, the next step towards quantum computing. In the new compound, “lithium osmium oxide”, osmium atoms form a honeycomb-like structure, precipitating a phenomenon called “magnetic frustration” that could lead to quantum spin liquid as predicted by condensed matter physics theorists.
The lithium osmium oxide discovered at OSU shows no magnetic order even when frozen to nearly absolute zero, which could point to an underlying quantum spin liquid state.