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Recent studies at MIT have investigated purified herbertsmithite in a study to determine if it is a new state of matter known as a string-net liquid (see also: string-net). Current research is incomplete, however compelling evidence has raised the possibility that it may be this previously unobserved state of matter. Electrons in herbertsmithite are arranged in a triangular mesh termed a Kagome lattice. Electrons in many lattices form patterns in which neighboring spins point in opposite directions; this requires that looped paths contain even numbers of atoms, so that their spins can always alternate from one to the next. Theory predicts that a Kagome lattice, which contains odd-numbered loops, can support a string-net electronic state.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Herbertsmithite". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.