Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Find New State of Material at the Nanoscale

01.10.2009
Researchers at the University of Arkansas and University of California-Los Angeles have discovered a new kind of quantum state of material at the nanoscale level that appears at low temperatures.

Research professor Sergey Prosandeev and professor Laurent Bellaiche of the University of Arkansas and A.R. Akbarzadeh of the University of California-Los Angeles report the state, called incipient ferrotoroidics, in Physical Review Letters.

The researchers asked what happens to nanoscale materials at low temperatures. Classical mechanics predict that atoms stop moving at low temperatures, but quantum mechanics predict that atoms continue to vibrate even at low temperatures. Such quantum mechanical vibrations are known to cause the disappearance of the spontaneous electric polarization in some bulk materials, and these materials are called incipient ferroelectrics. However, scientists don’t know what happens to nanoscale materials at low temperatures.

“What about the nanoscale ferroelectrics? Do they show quantum effects? Do they suppress polarization or promote new properties?” Prosandeev asked.

To answer these questions, the researchers modified the complicated computer codes aimed at resolving the behavior of bulk incipient ferroelectrics at low temperatures so they would describe nanostructures. They used the high-performance computing facility Star of Arkansas to perform the calculations. They performed both classical and quantum mechanics calculations, some of which took weeks using 128 processors.

At low temperatures, they discovered a new kind of quantum state of material. Called incipient ferrotoroidics, it is a state where quantum vibrations wash out the formation of recently discovered vortex states. This creates a situation where the material’s susceptibility to toroidal moment is high and independent of temperature – meaning that a small, curled field can create a strong vortex at any given moment.

“In electric capacitors we have electrons,” Prosandeev said. “Here we have topological charges instead.”

This means that it should be possible to create a new kind of device — namely, a topological charge capacitor — in nanoscale material at low temperatures. A vortex could be triggered in such a material using small changes in some chiral electric field.

“We predict that there is a way to prepare this original state of material,” Prosandeev said. “This opens the door to a new direction for applications and for thinking.”

This research was supported by grants from the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation.

CONTACTS:
Laurent Bellaiche, 21st Century Endowed Professor in Nanotechnology and Science Education
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-6425, laurent@uark.edu
Sergey Prosandeev, research professor
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-6668, sprossan@uark.edu

Melissa Lutz Blouin | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.uark.edu

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Move over, Superman! NIST method sees through concrete to detect early-stage corrosion
27.04.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Control of molecular motion by metal-plated 3-D printed plastic pieces
27.04.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>