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Engineering exceptional transport in van der Waals superatomic semiconductors

The PIs of IRG2 have substantially refined synthetic control over the synthesis of superatoms and their assemblies into macroscopic single crystals. They are now leveraging this control to engineer new, exceptional semiconductor transport properties not seen in any other material.

Two recent highlights are shown on the right:

1. The PIs have developed the first semiconductor capable of sustaining ballistic (scatter-free) electronic energy flow over macroscopic scales in the superatomic semiconductor Re6Se8Cl2. Experiments and theory show that this property emerges due to strong coupling of excitons with acoustic phonons in the material. The team showed record-breaking transport at room temperature, even exceeding carrier transport in silicon (Science 2023, arXiv 2024). This discovery could enable lossless transistors for new classical and quantum computing architectures.

2. The PIs have developed a new semiconductor, CsRe6Se8I3, with quasi-1-dimensional structure (JPCC 2023). Transition dipoles in the clusters align in a head-to-tail fashion, facilitating a coherent state known as superradiance in a macroscopically-ordered solid for the first time. One consequence is coherent transport of excitons at unprecedented speeds exceeding 1600 km/s (JPCL 2023).