When you bake a cake, you can combine the ingredients in almost any proportions, and they will still always be able to mix together.

Often, the aim is to change the physical properties of a material by adding a certain proportion of an additional element; however, it isn't always possible to incorporate the desired quantity into the crystal structure of the material.

At TU Wien, a new method has been developed using which previously unattainable mixtures can be achieved between germanium and desired foreign atoms.

This results in new materials with significantly altered properties.

More tin or gallium in the germanium crystal

"Incorporating foreign atoms into a crystal in a targeted manner to improve its properties is actually a standard method," says Sven Barth from the Institute of Materials Chemistry at TU Wien.

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