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Endotaxial stabilization of 2D charge density waves with long-range order

Rather than the typical approach of exfoliating and peeling off individual atomic layers to make a 2D material, the researchers grew the 2D material inside of another matrix. The work has dubbed this new class of materials "endotaxial" from the Greek roots "endo", meaning within, and "taxis", meaning in an ordered manner. Moreover, the electrons of the sandwiched 2D TaS2 crystal layer spontaneously clumped together to form their own 2D crystal, known a charge density wave—a repeating pattern in the distribution of electrons in a solid material.

More specifically, an ordered charge density wave (CDW) was stabilized in two-dimensions that resulted in dramatically enhancement and an increased material resistivity. By enhancing CDW order, it became possible to heat and melt the charge density waves. In-situ TEM, allowed observation of CDW melting through a continuous and reversible process. From these results, new regimes of CDW phases are derived and consistent with predicted emergences of quantum order.