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‘Electron prisons’ could be used to develop quantum technology

Many electrons occupy free space, but when confined to a specific area, they act much differently. These so-called “electron prisons” used to trap electrons could be easily altered and useful for studying quantum technology. Now, researchers have made their own electron prison in graphene, a material made of a single layer of carbon atoms, Phys.org reports. The electron prison, also referred to as an artificial atom, can occupy four different quantum states—as opposed to the usual two in other materials—thanks to graphene’s structure, the researchers note in their study published in Nano Letters. They want to use their artificial atoms to study quantum computing and new ways to store information.