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Overview of all focus news of the innovations-report

Overview of the focus news:

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Im Focus: 2D materials: arrangement of atoms measured in silicene

Silicene consists of a single layer of silicon atoms. In contrast to the ultra-flat material graphene, which is made of carbon, silicene shows surface irregularities that influence its electronic properties. Now, physicists from the University of Basel have been able to precisely determine this corrugated structure. As they report in the journal PNAS, their method is also suitable for analyzing other two-dimensional materials.

Since the experimental production of graphene, two-dimensional materials have been at the heart of materials research. Similar to carbon, a single layer of...

Im Focus: Advancing information processing with exceptional points and surfaces

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory are exceptional in many respects. Working in collaboration with the Imperial College London, for example, they have conducted research on a phenomenon in information processing systems called "exceptional points." This phenomenon has found applications in microwave, optical and mechanical technologies.

"Our team experimentally detected an exceptional surface, a continuous three-dimensional curving surface of exceptional points," said Xufeng Zhang, who led...

Im Focus: New quantum material with intrinsically magnetic and topological properties

An international consortium of chemists and physicists has discovered a new type of quantum material with intrinsic magnetic and topological properties. Since they manifest without doping or strong external magnetic fields, this material may lead the way to new applications in spintronics, two-dimensional magnetism and quantum transport.

Since their discovery in 2009, topological insulators are a hot topic of material physics. The special thing about them is that they simultaneously act as both...

Im Focus: Scientists discover how proteins form crystals that tile a microbe's shell

A new understanding of the nucleation process could shed light on how the shells help microbes interact with their environments, and help people design self-assembling nanostructures for various tasks.

Many microbes wear beautifully patterned crystalline shells, which protect them from a harsh world and can even help them reel in food.

Im Focus: Differentiating amino acids

Researchers develop the foundation for direct sequencing of individual proteins

A large part of the work inside cells is done by proteins acting as enzymes, transporters, channels, motors, supporting pillars and signaling devices. Proteins...

Im Focus: From cancer medication to antibiotic

Researchers at the HZI and the TU Munich repurpose drug as MRSA treatment

The bacterium Staphylococcus aureus can be part of the normal bacterial population inhabiting our body, but can also cause serious infections. This bacterium...

Im Focus: Metal with unusual properties

A Chinese-German research cooperation involving the University of Augsburg has demonstrated properties in a metal that cannot be explained by the standard theory. The results were obtained on a special metallic compound with unusual magnetic characteristics – scientists call it mag-netic frustration. The cooperation observed a novel, “quantum critical behaviour” in the metal at very low temperatures and at high pressures and strong magnetic fields.

Metals are elements or compounds that conduct electrical current. As the brilliant Russian phys-icist Lev Landau already identified in the 1950s, their...

Im Focus: Uranium chemistry and geological disposal of radioactive waste

New insights using the diamond light

A new paper to be published on 16 December provides a significant new insight into our understanding of uranium biogeochemistry and could help with the UK's...

Im Focus: Virus multiplication in 3D

Vaccinia viruses serve as a vaccine against human smallpox and as the basis of new cancer therapies. Two studies now provide fascinating insights into their unusual propagation strategy at the atomic level.

For viruses to multiply, they usually need the support of the cells they infect. In many cases, only in their host’s nucleus can they find the machines,...

Im Focus: Cheers! Maxwell's electromagnetism extended to smaller scales

More than one hundred and fifty years have passed since the publication of James Clerk Maxwell's "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field" (1865). What would our lives be without this publication?

It is difficult to imagine, as this treatise revolutionized our fundamental understanding of electric fields, magnetic fields, and light. The twenty original...

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