The advent of graphene and other two-dimensional van der Waals materials, with their unique electrical, optical, and thermal properties has resulted in tremendous progress for fundamental science. Recent developments suggest that taking one more step down in dimensionality — from mono-layer atomic sheets to individual atomic chains — can bring exciting prospects in fundamental science and practical applications. The atomic chain is the ultimate limit in material downscaling, a frontier for establishing an entirely new field of one-dimensional quantum materials. Here, we review this emerging area of one-dimensional van der Waals quantum materials and anticipate its future directions. We focus on quantum effects associated with the charge-density-wave condensate, strongly-correlated phenomena, topological phases, and other unique physical characteristics, which are attainable specifically in van der Waals materials of lower dimensionality. Possibilities for engineering the properties of quasi-one-dimensional materials via compositional changes, vacancies, and defects, as well as their potential applications in composites are also discussed.

One-dimensional van der Waals quantum materials
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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2022.03.015