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.
Weyl metals such as tantalum arsenide (TaAs) are predicted to have novel properties arising from a chirality of their electron spins. Scientists induced an imbalance between the left- and right-handed spin states, resulting in a topologically protected current. This was the first time this phenomenon, known as the chiral anomaly, has been observed.
This research established experimental evidence for the long sought-after transition of a small, two-dimensional sheet of electrons to a solid state.
This work investigates a series of oxoiron complexes that serve as models towards understanding the mechanism of catalysis for certain iron-containing enzymes.
Molecular fossils of chlorophyll (called porphyrins) more than 1.1 billion years old find suggest that photosynthesis began 600 million years earlier than previously established.
A new pH sensitive contrast agent for MR imaging has been developed that produces image contrast based on the local pH and that has great potential for use in living animals and medical diagnostics.
The causes of migraines are not well understood, with treatment limited to addressing pain rather than its origin. Research conducted with hydrogen MRI is attempting to identify the "migraine generator."
This work provides important insight into one of the parent materials of iron-based superconductors.
Scientists used high magnetic fields and low temperatures to study crystals of URu2–xFexSi2. Using these conditions, they explored an intriguing state of matter called the "hidden order phase" that exhibits emergent behavior. Emergent behavior occurs when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, meaning the whole has exciting properties that its parts do not possess; it is an important concept in philosophy, the brain and theories of life. This data provide strict constraints on theories of emergent behavior.
Recent measurements of superconducting tapes in the MagLab's 45-tesla hybrid magnet shows that the power function dependence of current on magnetic field remains valid up to 45T in liquid helium, while for magnetic field in the plane of the tape conductor, almost no magnetic field dependence is observed. Thus design of ultra-high-field magnets capable of reaching 50T and higher is feasible using the latest high-critical current density REBCO tape.
Scientists measured the first in vivo images of stimulated current within the brain using an imaging method that may improve reproducibility and safety, and help understand the mechanisms of action of electrical stimulation.
New materials that exhibit a strong coupling between magnetic and electric effects are of great interest for the development of high-sensitivity detectors and other devices. This paper reports on such a coupling in a specially designed material.
In this study, researchers added a low concentration of the endohedral metallofullerene (EMF) Gd2@C79N to DNP samples, finding that 1H and 13C enhancements increased by 40% and 50%, respectively, at 5 teslas and 1.2 Kelvin.
MagLab scientists and engineers have developed a special coating on Bi-2212 superconducting wire for electrical insulation in superconducting magnets that will enable the wire to be used in ultra-high field nuclear magnetic resonance magnets.
In the 14 years since its discovery, graphene has amazed scientists around the world with both the ground-breaking physics and technological potential it displays. Recently, scientists from Penn State University added to graphene's gallery of impressive scientific achievements and constructed a map that will aid future exploration of this material. This work is emblematic of the large number of university-based materials research efforts that use the MagLab to explore the frontiers of science.
Analogous to the unique spectral fingerprint of any atom or molecule, researchers have measured the spectrum of optical excitations in monolayer tungsten diselenide (WSe2), which is a member of a new family of ultrathin semiconductors that are just one atomic layer thick.
Protein oxidative damage is a common occurrence in a number of diseases, including cancer, neurodegenerative, and cardiovascular disease. Yet, little is known about its contribution to these illnesses. We developed a new technique, utilizing an infrared laser in combination with a mass spectrometer, to selectively identify sites of oxidation in complex protein mixtures. This sensitive and rapid platform may outperform current techniques and thus shed light on the involvement of oxidative damage in each of these diseases.
This high-field EPR study of the H-Mn2+ content in the bacterium Deinococcus Radiodurans provides the strongest known biological indicator of cellular ionizing radiation resistance between and within the three domains of the tree of life, with potential applications including optimization of radiotherapy.
Decades ago a mechanism was proposed that described a quantum phase transition to an insulating ground state from a semi-metal (excitonic insulator, or EI) using very similar mechanics to those found in the BCS description of superconductivity. The discovery of this transition to an EI in InAs/GaSb quantum wells is striking not only for the long-sought experimental realization of important physics, but also the presence of recently proposed topological behavior.
MagLab-industry partnership ups the critical current density of this high-temperature superconductor by a third.
Experiment shows that emergent quantum fluid behavior of helium-3 confined to one dimension is observable using special low-temperature NMR techniques.