Science Highlights

These monthly highlights, selected by MagLab Director Greg Boebinger, represent the most promising and cutting-edge research underway in the lab’s seven user facilities.

12 September 2022

High temperature superconducting CORC® cabling technology

Large superconducting magnets need multi-conductor cables, which act like multi-lane freeways to allow electricity to switch lanes if one gets blocked. Here cross-sectional images of CORC wires reveal insights to improve the contact between conductors. 

12 September 2022

A Quantum Development: Massive Hyperfine Interaction in a Lu(II) Qubit

Electron spin coherence was enhanced through engineering of so-called clock transitions in molecular magnets, an advance in quantum computing strategies. The use of clock transitions to enhance quantum coherence is employed in trapped-ion quantum computers, an approach that may also be viable in magnetic molecules to yield next-generation quantum technologies. 

12 September 2022

Mystery of the Origin of MRI Signal in Stroke Solved

MRI scans taken after a stroke show brightness around the injury, the origins of which have been a long-standing and vexatious mystery for scientists. This work suggests these MRI signal changes result from fluid changes in glial cell volumes, results that could advance our ability to distinguish reversible and irreversible stroke events or provide a better understanding for other disorders such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and mood or sleep disorders. 

15 August 2022

Studying the microstructure of Glidcop® AL-60 conductor

The MagLab's ultrahigh-field pulsed magnets require materials with both high mechanical strength and high electrical conductivity. One of these materials is Glidcop® AL-60, an alumina particle strengthened copper. This research studies the microstructure of this material to improve the construction and endurance of these magnets.

15 August 2022

Finding Water Molecules with Important Biological Activity

A new 17O solid-state NMR technique, employed on the highest-field NMR spectrometer in the world (the 36 T Series Connected Hybrid), identifies water molecules in different layers of a model membrane for the first time.

18 July 2022

Unconventional Charge Transport in Kondo insulator YbB12

Three complementary measurements in intense magnetic fields shed light on a very unusual material that behaves like a metal, but does not conduct electricity! 

18 July 2022

A Deep Dive Into Forever Chemical Dark Matter

Using the world's most powerful mass spectrometer, scientists have developed a new method to profile complex PFAS mixtures at the molecular level, facilitating future PFAS characterization in support of environmental and human health studies.

17 June 2022

One-way Optical Transparency at Telecommunications Wavelengths

Generally, light transmission is symmetrical - it's the same if you shine a light through a material forward or backwards. Using powerful pulsed fields, researchers revealed one-way transparency in a nickel-tellurium-oxygen based material showing that light flows one way across the telecom range – a finding that opens the door to exciting new photonics applications.

16 May 2022

Vibronic Coupling in a Molecular Magnet

Using far-infared magnetospectroscopy in high magnetic fields, scientists probed coupled electronic and vibrational modes in a molecular magnet that are of interest in future classical and quantum information applications.

16 May 2022

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide from Peat Wetland Ecosystems

Understanding the organic composition of peat wetland soils can determine whether the carbon sources may be converted into carbon dioxide gas, work that could improve existing climate models and better predict the impact of increasing carbon dioxide to wetland ecosystems.

19 April 2022

Addressing Supply Chain Challenges for Advanced Superconductors

The start of a sustainable business model for manufacturing advanced superconductors was established by a panel of industry leaders, university faculty, national lab leaders, and science facility project heads, including representatives from the MagLab.

19 April 2022

Imaging Enzyme Active Site Chemistry Using Multiple Fields up to 35.2T

This new technique for mapping out atom placements in the active site of enzymes could unlock the potential for finding new therapeutics.

11 March 2022

Crossover Between Coupling Regimes

Theory predicted that the transition between the superconducting and superfluid regimes should be continuous for electrons and holes in solid materials, but recent high magnetic field experiments performed by researchers from Columbia, Harvard and Brown Universities demonstrated the crossover between coupling regimes.

11 March 2022

The Blood Proteoform Atlas: A reference map of proteoforms in human blood cells

A new Blood Proteoform Atlas maps 30,000 unique proteoforms as they appear in 21 different cell types found in human blood. The MagLab's 21 tesla FT-ICR mass spectrometer contributed nearly a third of the atlas' proteoforms. 

9 February 2022

Isolation of a Triplet Benzene Dianion

High-magnetic-field, high-frequency electron paramagnetic resonance demonstrates how coordination chemistry can be leveraged to stabilize a desired electronic/magnetic state in an organic molecule. In this experiment, the long-sought magnetic (triplet) ground state in a benzene ring is stabilized by a pair of metal ions above and below the six-carbon ring.

9 February 2022

New Correlated Quasiparticles in an Atomically-Thin Semiconductor

A new class of correlated quasiparticle states discovered in a multi-valley semiconductor using optical absorption measurements in pulsed magnetic fields. This new type of multi-particle state results when excitons interact simultaneously with multiple electron reservoirs that are quantum-mechanically distinguishable by virtue of having different spin and/or valley quantum numbers.

25 January 2022

Understanding How Fungi Build Their Cell Walls for Protection

Scientists have used high-field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to reveal how fungal pathogens use carbohydrates and proteins to build their cell walls (the protective layers outside of the cell). These findings will guide the development of novel antifungal drugs that target the cell wall molecules to combat life-threatening diseases caused by invasive fungal infections.

25 January 2022

Magnetostriction in AlFe2B2 at 25 T Measured by X-Ray Diffraction

Using X-ray diffraction, scientists can now detect atoms themselves moving further apart or closer together in high magnetic fields, giving science a crystal clear view of nature.

13 December 2021

Clues About Unconventional Superconductivity From High-Field Hall Data

In everyday life, phase transitions - like when water boils and turns into steam or freezes and becomes ice -  are caused by changes in temperature. Here, very high magnetic fields are used to reveal a quantum phase transition not caused by temperature, but instead driven by quantum mechanics upon changing the concentration of electrons, work that could hold critical clues that explain high-temperature superconductivity.

 

22 November 2021

Novel "hot-bronze" Nb3Sn for compact accelerators

A new "hot bronze" thin film growth recipe was developed to produce high quality superconducting Niobium-Tin (Nb3Sn) films that are easier to fabricate and that outperform existing technologies.

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