According to the research, in which researchers from the UPV/EHU as well as teams from Australia and Japan have taken part, the magnetism appears reduce the dimensions of the material to nanometric dimensions and surround it with previously selected organic molecules. The magnetism of these nanoparticles is a permanent one (like iron) which, even at ambient temperature, is quite significant.
This amazing behaviour has been obtained not just with gold (a phenomenon which had already been put forward as experimentally possible) but, in this research, nanoparticles of silver and copper (the atoms of which are intrinsically non-magnetic) with a size of 2 nm (0.000002 mm) have also been shown to be magnetic at ambient temperature.
The contribution of this work, part of the PhD of Ms Eider Goikolea Núñez and led by Professors Mr Jose Javier Saiz Garitaonandia and Ms Maite Insausti Peña, is not limited to obtaining these amazing magnetic nanoparticles. In fact, by means of complex techniques, using experimental systems based on particle accelerators and nuclear techniques, both in Japan and in Australia, have clearly shown for the first time that magnetism exists in atoms of gold, silver and copper, metals which, in any other condition, are intrinsically non-magnetic (a magnet does not attract them).
This discovery goes beyond the mere fact of converting non-magnetic elements to magnetic ones. These properties appear in smaller-sized particles that have never been seen in classical magnetic elements. In fact, they can be considered as the smallest magnets ever obtained. Moreover, such properties do not occur only at low temperatures but they are conserved, apparently without any degradation, at temperatures well above the ambient ones.
This work poses new questions as regards what have been the accepted up to now as the physical mechanisms associated with magnetism and opens the doors to interesting applications yet to be discovered, some of which are related to the use of magnetic nanoparticles for the diagnosis/treatment of illnesses. Likewise, this article is destined to be a point of no return for research into fundamental questions about magnetism.
Irati Kortabitarte | alfa
Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium
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22.09.2017 | Forschungszentrum MATHEON ECMath
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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