Physicists have engineered novel magnetic and electronic phases in the ultra-thin films of in a specific electronic magnetic material, opening the door for researchers to design new classes of material for the next generation of electronic and other devices.
“Pressure is an absolutely fantastic tool to change the properties of any compound,” said Jak Chakhalian, professor of physics at the University of Arkansas. “But how do you apply pressure to something that is nanoscale? We’ve finally found a way to systematically exert ‘pressure’ on this thin nanomaterial, which has only a few atomic layers, to enable new electronic and magnetic phases.”
An article detailing the finding, “Heterointerface engineered electronic and magnetic phases of NdNiO3 thin films,” was published Nov. 6 in Nature Communications, an online journal published by the journal Nature.
Chakhalian and his former doctoral student Jian Liu found a way to apply pressure to the magnetic material by varying the distances between atoms with a crystal lattice substrate. The compression forced the material into new phases, with intriguing properties not attainable in the larger crystals. Thus, the physicists developed a tool that allows them to control and engineer the novel behavior of the nanomaterial on an atomic scale, Chakhalian said.
“In general, nature is remarkably scalable,” he said. “If a material is a conductor of electricity, it doesn’t matter what size it is; it will conduct electricity. The naïve expectation in the 1990s was that anything we shrunk down to nano size would act profoundly differently, and we did develop many remarkable tools that were capable of shrinking them down to hundreds, and recently, tens of nanometers. But it turned out we didn’t go far enough. As we know now, we really need to go one magnitude lower: the atomic scale. Then these things get really strange.
“In order to find out the fundamental reason for how material properties emerge, for example why a material conducts electricity or why it is magnetic, I need to go smaller and smaller,” he said.
That’s why Chakhalian and his researchers are exploring the behavior of materials at the size several angstroms per layer, a unit equal to one-hundred millions of a centimeter.
Liu, now a postdoctoral fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, was the lead researcher, and the results were part of his doctoral thesis at the U of A. Benjamin A. Gray, a doctoral student, prepared and characterized the samples and performed measurements.
Chakhalian holds the Charles E. and Clydene Scharlau Endowed Professorship and directs the Laboratory for Artificial Quantum Materials at the University of Arkansas.
The results were obtained through a collaborative effort with Mehdi Kargarian and Gregory A. Fiete of the University of Texas at Austin, James M. Rondinelli at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Phil J. Ryan and John W. Freeland of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Lab outside Chicago; and Alejandro Cruz, Nadeem Tahir, Yi-De Chuang and Jinghua Guo of the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Contact:Jak Chakhalian, professor, physics
Chris Branam | Newswise
Flying: Efficiency thanks to Lightweight Air Nozzles
23.10.2017 | Technische Universität Chemnitz
Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer
20.10.2017 | Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
23.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
23.10.2017 | Life Sciences
23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine