The team of researchers, led by Yi-feng Yang, a postdoctoral fellow at UC Davis, found a simple way to calculate the temperature at which a new state of matter, the Kondo liquid, emerges in the class of metal alloys called heavy-electron materials. At very low temperatures, these alloys can become superconductors that conduct electricity without resistance.
"We've found a framing concept for an important class of materials, which allows us to begin to understand how they relate to each other and perhaps to find new members of the group," said Yang's postdoctoral mentor and team member, David Pines, distinguished professor of physics at UC Davis and co-director of ICAM, the Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter.
Heavy electron materials are alloys of metals such as cerium, ytterbium and uranium. They contain both free-moving electrons that make them electrical conductors and a "Kondo" lattice of localized electrons. When the temperature of the material is lowered below a characteristic temperature, the localized electrons lose their magnetism as they become collectively "entangled" through quantum mechanical effects with the conduction electrons, which become heavy and form the Kondo liquid. At much lower temperatures these heavy electrons then become either magnetic or superconducting.
Yang received a fellowship from ICAM that enabled him to become "embedded" in an experimental group on heavy electron materials led by Joe D. Thompson at Los Alamos. With Thompson and Han-oh Lee at Los Alamos, and Zachary Fisk at UC Irvine, he reviewed 30 years of existing data on heavy-electron materials, plus new experimental data collected by Thompson and Lee, to establish a long-sought connection between single impurities and lattice behavior in these materials.
They found that the crucial temperature at which the Kondo liquid emerges depends in a remarkably simple way on the coupling of individual local spins to the conduction electrons, Pines said.
The discovery should help researchers find the organizing principles of heavy-electron superconductivity, because it clarifies the nature of the normal state out of which superconductivity emerges, Pines said.
The work was supported by the National Science Foundation and by the ICAM fellowship for Yang. ICAM is a multidisciplinary research program of the University of California that has 57 branches across the U.S. and globally, with its headquarters at UC Davis.
Andy Fell | EurekAlert!
Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics
23.03.2017 | North Carolina State University
TU Graz researchers show that enzyme function inhibits battery ageing
21.03.2017 | Technische Universität Graz
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences
23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences