A team of researchers led by Jeremy Levy and several PQI members recently published a paper in Nature describing how the Kronig-Penney model is reproduced within a programmable oxide material. Introduced in 1931, this model shaped our understanding of materials that are used to create computers and other technology.
Using an atomic force microscope, lead author Megan Briggeman created an artificial one-dimensional lattice of buckets and discovered that placing electrons in it caused them to interact in unexpected ways. In some sense, they acted as though the charge carriers were fractions of an electron. The observed behavior extends far beyond the simple Kronig-Penney model and appears in the real system, which contains hundreds of electrons.
The research was part of a larger effort to produce new electronic states of matter that may be helpful in developing future technologies such as quantum computers.
Congrats Jeremy, Megan, and team!