PerspectiveCONDENSED MATTER

Going with the grains

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Science  30 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6541, pp. 464
DOI: 10.1126/science.abd8556

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Summary

Metals and insulators are primitive materials for electrical applications when compared with semiconductor materials. Semiconductors involve a massive leap in technological complexity yet are essential for data processing applications. Unsurprisingly, superconducting quantum-coherent devices have therefore been realized only with combinations of metals and insulators. More recently, proposals involving exotic states of electronic matter that would protect quantum information from decoherence (1, 2) require integration of semiconducting and superconducting properties. Aluminum (superconductor) and indium arsenide (semiconductor) have been widely investigated and exhibit a high-quality interface (3). On p. 508 of this issue, Pendharkar et al. (4) provide a proof of principle for an approach that may expand the available materials for both superconductors and semiconductors for this integration of properties (see the photo).

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