Science for a New Century
Quantum information science and technology research is conducted at several outstanding universities and laboratories around the world, including LANL. At Los Alamos, however, even the most basic quantum research often has national security implications or connections.
Although the Quantum Initiative’s national security mission at Los Alamos is manifest in many areas, it is perhaps most evident in two of the Laboratory’s most successful quantum technology initiatives— quantum cryptography and the race for a quantum computer.
Bzzzt. Error, Beep, Warning. Wrong.
Ok, let’s start over, because obviously this didn’t work. If you have been paying attention at all here, you would have noticed the recent breakthrough in understanding of bismuth-bismuth metal-metal bonding in relation to nanostructures (picostructures, actually) in the form of bismuth oxidation states, bismuth monolayers, bismuth hexagonal sheets, bismuth wires, bismuth tubes and indeed, the remarkable fluorescence properties of isolated bismuth ions.
Indeed, bismuth, the most remarkable metal, can be wired up in any number of ways on silicon with the use of subhalides such as hydrogen and iodine, in the form of bismuth monolayers and bismuth nano-islands which display coherent propagating topological edge and surface states, Dirac cones, Weyl points, relativistic propagating electrons, metal-insulator-superconducting transitions, multilayers, highly efficient thermoelectric heat transport, and with the high density bismuth iodide in a solid state at half filling, nobody knows. It could be weird. It is definitely cool.
I intend to use polymeric one dimensional pure bismuth iodide – Bi4I4, and possibly Bi14I4 as a feedstock for physical and chemical deposition (adatom adsorption and desorption), pulsed laser deposition (3 eV, XUV and soft X-rays), and laser assisted molten salt quenching using argon gas gloveboxes, evacuated quartz and silicon tubes with tungsten electrode plugs and 405 nm blue violet laser excitation. I’m writing John Holdren a letter about this problem today.
The crystal structure of Bi14I4 condensed bismuth clusters, E. V. Dikarev, Prof. Dr. B. A. Popovkin and A. V. Shevelkov, Zeitschrift für Anorganische und Allgemeine Chemie, Volume 612, Issue 6, pages 118–122, June 1992 (Published Online 9 November 2004)
The crystal structure of Bi14I4 — the final known member of binary bismuth halides — was determined by the single crystal X-ray diffractometer technique (P21/m, Z = 1, a = 13.309(3) Å, b = 11.447 (3) å, c = 4.342(1) å, γ = 92.08(3)°, R/Rw = 0.060/0.060 for 369 reflections, sinθ/λ ≤ 0.593, MoKγ). The structure consists of condensed bismuth clusters and is build up from infinite one-dimensional bismuth nets running along the c-axis and limited by iodine atoms in another direction.
The common structural features of bismuth subhalides containing condensed clusters are also considered based on the analysis of interatomic distances and bond angles. The influence of the lone pair of electrons of the bismuth atom on the geometry of bismuth coordination polyhedra, and the connection between bismuth atoms coordination and the formal oxidation state of these atoms is discussed.
Elon seems to be very afraid of this, but efficient thermoelectricity is the immediate goal.
There appears to be a variety of approaches and routes to high-zT thermoelectricity.
On the Nature of Bismuth (I) Iodide in the Solid State
T. L. Elifritz, Spec. Sci. Tech., 17, 85, 1994
And, of course, the numerous chalcogenide alloys.
Topological insulators and superconductors.
And plasmonic light radiation and such.
It’s a mad, mad, mad, world.