Top new computer chip material

electron_band_bismuth_tellurideResearcher at the Stanford Institute for Materials & Energy Science have developed a new substance for making computer chips that allows electrons to flow without any loss of energy at room temperatures and can be made using existing chip-making technologies:

Physicists Yulin Chen, Zhi-Xun Shen and their colleagues tested the behavior of electrons in the compound bismuth telluride. The results, published online June 11 in Science Express, show a clear signature of what is called a topological insulator, a material that enables the free flow of electrons across its surface with no loss of energy

This is pretty amazing in and of itself, but is not quite a superconductor:

Topological insulators aren’t conventional superconductors nor fodder for super-efficient power lines, as they can only carry small currents, but they could pave the way for a paradigm shift in microchip development. “This could lead to new applications of spintronics, or using the electron spin to carry information,”

[from Physorg][image via Physorg from Yulin Chen and Z. X. Shen]