Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists Discover New Class of Glassy Material

30.07.2008
Scientists at U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory are dealing with an entirely new type of frustration, but it's not stressing them out.

Dynamic frustration has been found to be the cause of glassy behavior in materials that previously had none of the features of a normal glass.

"This has been a puzzle for 10 years now," Argonne physicist Raymond Osborn said.

Conventional wisdom states that glassy materials, such as common window glass, result when frustration prevents the atoms from forming a well-ordered crystal structure, and the material freezes into a disordered state like a frozen liquid.

In spin glasses, it is the magnetic moments on each atom, rather than the atoms themselves, that freeze into a disordered state at low temperatures, so that they point in random directions. However, there has to be some disorder in the atomic structure and some frustration in the magnetic interactions which prevents the magnetic moments from ordering so that they can freeze into spin glasses.

Scientists have struggled for more than a decade to understand why PrAu2Si2 is a spin glass. There is no sign of atomic disorder in the compound and, no reason for the magnetic interactions to be frustrated.

Using the results of neutron scattering experiments, Osborn and his collaborators concluded the frustration results from temporal or dynamic frustration rather static frustration.

Although PrAu2Si2 seems to have an ordered structure, by delving deeper, Osborn found that the magnetic moments are continually fluctuating in magnitude causing the equivalent of temporal potholes that appear and then disappear long enough to disrupt the magnetic alignment.

These fluctuations occur because the magnetic moments in this material are unstable and can be destroyed temporarily by electrons scattering off the atoms.

"The discovery of dynamic frustration reveals a whole new class of glassy materials whose behavior is governed by dynamic rather than static disorder," Osborn said.

This discovery may allow scientists to tune the degree of frustration and therefore develop a better understanding of how glasses are formed in nature.

Funding for this research was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. The mission of the Basic Energy Sciences (BES) program - a multipurpose, scientific research effort - is to foster and support fundamental research to expand the scientific foundations for new and improved energy technologies and for understanding and mitigating the environmental impacts of energy use.

A paper on Osborn's work can be seen in the upcoming edition of Nature Physics.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory brings the world’s brightest scientists and engineers together to find exciting and creative new solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline.

Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

Brock Cooper | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.anl.gov

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
02.12.2016 | Penn State

nachricht What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?
02.12.2016 | University of Toronto

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>