Menu
The world of science and progress
Pulsar Transformed Into Small Planet Made of Diamond Discovered in Milky Way

New Depiction of Light Could Boost Telecommunications Channels

Free Radicals Crucial to Suppressing Appetite

Preserving 4 Percent of the Ocean Could Protect Most Marine Mammal Species, Study Finds

Panda Poop May Be a Treasure Trove of Microbes for Making Biofuels

Discovery Sheds Light On the Ecosystem of Young Galaxies

New Method Reveals Parts of Bacterial Genome Essential to Life

Novel Alloy Could Produce Hydrogen Fuel from Sunlight

Tiny Oxygen Generators Boost Effectiveness of Anticancer Treatment

Bedrock Nitrogen May Help Forests Buffer Climate Change, Study Finds

'Gene Overdose' Causes Extreme Thinness

Manufacturing Method Paves Way for Commercially Viable Quantum Dot-Based LEDs

Cutting Soot Emissions: Fastest, Most Economical Way to Slow Global Warming?

Tasmanian Tiger's Jaw Was Too Small to Attack Sheep, Study Shows

Manipulating Plants' Circadian Clock May Make All-Season Crops Possible

NASA's Chandra Finds Nearest Pair of Supermassive Black Holes

Up from the Depths: How Bacteria Capture Carbon in the 'Twilight Zone'

Understanding Next-Generation Electronic Devices: Smallest Atomic Displacements Ever

Woolly Rhino Fossil Discovery in Tibet Provides Important Clues to Evolution of Ice Age Giants

Sparing or Sharing? Protecting Wild Species May Require Growing More Food On Less Land

Glowing, Blinking Bacteria Reveal How Cells Synchronize Biological Clocks

Rock Rafts Could Be 'Cradle of Life'

Robots Learn to Handle Objects, Understand New Places

World's Smallest Electric Motor Made from a Single Molecule

First Stem Cells from Endangered Species

Novel Magnetic, Superconducting Material Opens New Possibilities in Electronics
Scientists have reached a crucial milestone that could lead to a new class of materials with useful electronic properties. In research reported in the Sept. 5 issue of Nature Physics, the team sandwiched two nonmagnetic insulators together and discovered a startling result: The layer where the two materials meet has both magnetic and superconducting regions -- two properties that normally can't co-exist.

Technologists have long hoped to find a way to engineer magnetism in this class of materials, called complex oxides, as a first step in developing a potential new form of computing memory for storage and processing.

The discovery, made by researchers at the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science (SIMES), a joint institute of the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University, opens "exciting possibilities for engineering new materials and studying the interplay of these normally incompatible states," said Kathryn A. "Kam" Moler, the SLAC/Stanford researcher who led the imaging studies.

A critical next step: Figuring out whether the superconductivity and magnetism co-exist within the material in an uneasy truce, or whether this marks the discovery of an exotic new form of superconductivity that actively interacts with magnetism, said Moler. Superconducting materials, which conduct electricity with no resistance and 100 percent efficiency, normally expel any magnetic field that comes near them.

"Our future measurements will indicate whether they're fighting one another or helping one another," Moler said.

Independently, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced in the same issue of Nature Physics that they had confirmed the existence of magnetism at the interface between the two materials using an alternative means of measurement.

In a commentary accompanying both papers, Columbia University physicist Andrew J. Millis, who was not involved in the research, wrote that the work could introduce a new class of materials with "interesting, controllable, novel and perhaps useful collective electronic properties." While this goal is far off, he said, the new findings indicate that "the field has passed a crucial milestone."

SIMES graduate student Julie Bert, the paper's first author, and her colleagues made their observations on a thin film of lanthanum aluminate that had been laid onto a strontium titanate substrate. The structures were grown by researchers working with applied physicist Harold Hwang, who recently moved with his group from the University of Tokyo to join SIMES and now serves as deputy director. The atomic layer where the two oxides meet becomes metallic and allows current to flow with no resistance at temperatures close to absolute zero.

Researchers are starting experiments to see whether anything changes when the material is compressed, or when an electrical field is applied, said Moler. Additional research now must be done, she added, to determine the physical properties that contribute to forming both the magnetism and superconductivity in these oxides.

"Modern technology gives us the amazing ability to grow materials atomic layer by atomic layer," said Moler. "The message of our work is that by doing so we can create new materials with surprising new properties."

The Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science, SIMES, is a joint institute of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University. Research at SIMES is supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

Для печати


Menu
Growing Meat in the Lab: Scientists Initiate Action Plan to Advance Cultured Meat

Recycling Fat Might Help Worms Live Longer

In More Socially Engaging Environment, White Fat Turns to Brown, Mouse Study Suggests

Clouds Don't Cause Climate Change, Study Shows

Novel Magnetic, Superconducting Material Opens New Possibilities in Electronics

New Material Shows Promise for Trapping Pollutants

Breakthrough Could Double Wireless Capacity With No New Towers

Microbes Generate Electricity While Cleaning Up Nuclear Waste

Milky Way Galaxy Might Hold Thousands of Ticking 'Time Bombs'

Neurosurgeons Use Adult Stem Cells to Grow Neck Vertebrae

Jumping Gene's Preferred Targets May Influence Genome Evolution

Peer Pressure? It's Hardwired Into Our Brains, Study Finds

Scientists Create Mammalian Cells With Single Chromosome Set

Evidence for a Persistently Iron-Rich Ocean Changes Views On Earth's Early History

Nanosensors Made from DNA May Light Path to New Cancer Tests and Drugs

Endangered Horse Has Ancient Origins and High Genetic Diversity, New Study Finds

Australopithecus Sediba Paved the Way for Homo Species, New Studies Suggest

Babies Distinguish Pain from Touch at 35-37 Weeks, Research Finds

Mantis Shrimp: Ocean Floor Critters Communicate in Synchronized Rumbles

Powered by Seaweed: Polymer from Algae May Improve Battery Performance

Captivated by Critters: Humans Are Wired to Respond to Animals

Birth Control Pills Affect Memory, Researchers Find

NASA Launches Mission to Study Moon From Crust to Core

Sea Levels Much Less Stable Than Earlier Believed, New Coral Dating Method Suggests

Ferroelectrics Could Pave Way for Ultra-Low Power Computing