Quasicrystals are unusual structures with surprising symmetries and intricate and often beautiful patterns. These structures disobey some of the basic assumptions of solid state physics, like periodicity -- the regular repeating pattern of crystals. They are so unusual that they were long thought only to be mathematical curiosities, until in the 1980s, a quasicrystal was accidentally created in a lab and identified by its diffraction pattern. Since then a number of different quasicrystal structures have been confirmed. However, their electronic properties are still relatively unexplored both theoretically and experimentally.
Recent work by Prof. Sergio de la Barrera and colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) introduces a new approach to realizing two-dimensional quasicrystals using layered materials like graphene. In the first example of one of these structures, they find evidence of strong electronic interactions, superconductivity, and even transitions between periodic-like and fully quasiperiodic regimes of the electrons, depending on tuning parameters. These findings in a quasicrystalline system may have important implications for the possible symmetries of superconducting and correlated electronic states, while also demonstrating a way in which new quasicrystalline structures can be engineered from crystalline constituents. This work has now been published in the journal Nature, linked below.
Read the full publication here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-023-06294-z
More information here: https://phys.org/news/2023-09-physicists-coax-superconductivity-quasicrystals.html
More information here: https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/moire-materials-stretch-their-scope/4017928.article
More information here: https://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/news/physicists-coax-superconductivity-and-more-quasicrystals