The work could lead to better understanding of electrical switching at atomic levels and new, better materials for chips
The magnetite experiment was conducted at the Soft X-ray Materials Science (SXR) experimental station at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser.
An optical laser pulse (red streak from upper right) shatters the ordered electronic structure (blue) in an insulating sample of magnetite, switching the material to electrically conducting (red) in one trillionth of a second.
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