Researchers find that electrons in Bismuth prefer to stay in one specific valley out of the six available ones

Researchers from Princeton University observed that electrons in bismuth prefer to crowd into one valley rather than distributing equally into the six available valleys. This behavior creates a type of electricity called ferroelectricity, which involves the separation of positive and negative charges onto opposite sides of a material.

Elliptical orbits of bismuth surface electrons in a large magnetic field

The finding confirms that ferroelectricity arises naturally on the surface of bismuth when electrons collect in a single valley. This behavior could be exploited in future Valleytronics devices. The existence of six valleys in bismuth raises the possibility of distributing information in six different states.