For a long time, physicists believed that the phenomena of antiferromagnetism and topological conductivity are fundamentally incompatible with each other. As a result of new research, the first crystal of the antiferromagnetic topological insulator was created. According to scientists, this material will allow you to find the elusive dark matter.
The material was synthesized from a compound of manganese, bismuth and tellurium. According to the researchers, the obtained crystals can not only capture dark matter, but also become the basis for the quantum computers of the future. One of the properties of crystals is their ability to simultaneously exhibit antiferromagnetic properties and behave as a topological insulator if they are cooled to ultralow temperatures, exceeding the absolute zero by only 24 degrees Kelvin.
Equally promising is the use of the properties of the tellurium, manganese and bismuth compounds for the study of Majorana fermions – hypothetical particles similar in size and some properties to electrons, which are the antipodes of themselves. Physicists have been trying to discover them for over 80 years. If neither dark matter nor the Majorana fermions can be found, the researchers hope to significantly narrow their search.