The new material consists of strontium, manganese, and bismuth (SrMnBi2) and allows "simple and uncomplicated doping with foreign atoms," the researchers said: The physical properties of SrMnBi2 can be altered by simply injecting other atoms, which the scientists believe may lead to the creation of new magnets, insulators or superconductors.
The initial research has been published in the article Anisotropic Dirac Fermions in a Bi Square Net of SrMnBi2 that is featured in the journal Physical Review Letters. So far, the scientists have not made further conclusions what the impact of the new material may be, but said that more research and additional experiments will be necessary.
The opportunity for this material will lie in the ability to alter it and how easily it can be manufactured. While graphene is believed to have a big future, producing and manipulating it is extremely difficult and there are no tools and techniques in place that would allow graphene mass-production.