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.

17 April 2018

Novel metallofullerene boosts dynamic nuclear polarization

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.

19 March 2018

Ceramic insulation for high-temperature superconducting wire

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.

19 March 2018

Switchable transmission of quantum Hall edge states in bilayer graphene

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.

27 February 2018

Exciton states in a new monolayer semiconductor

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.

27 February 2018

Targeted annotation of peptides by selective infrared multiphoton dissociation mass spectrometry

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.

26 February 2018

Across the Tree of Life: Radiation Resistance Gauged by High-Field EPR

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.

31 January 2018

2D electron-hole "superconductor": Topological excitonic insulator

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.

30 November 2017

Tweaked recipe delivers record current-carrying capacity in Bi-2212 wires

MagLab-industry partnership ups the critical current density of this high-temperature superconductor by a third.

30 November 2017

Dynamics of helium-3 in nanotubes

Experiment shows that emergent quantum fluid behavior of helium-3 confined to one dimension is observable using special low-temperature NMR techniques.

7 November 2017

New magnetic topological semimetal has energy-saving potential

Researchers discover that Sr1-yMn1-zSb2 (y,z < 0.1) is a so-called Weyl material that holds great promise for building devices that require far less power.

26 October 2017

High-temperature superconducting coils tested for future NMR magnet

Bi-2223 shows promise for 30-tesla all-superconducting instrument for nuclear magnetic resonance.

10 October 2017

Selective mass enhancement close to a quantum critical point

This finding sheds light on the role of quasiparticle mass enhancement near a quantum critical point in one of the leading families of high-temperature superconductors.

10 October 2017

Reversible magnetic switching in multifunctional material

With just a drop of water, a cobalt-based material changes both color and magnetic properties.

5 September 2017

New NMR technique could lead to better batteries

Scientists can now observe lithium moving through an electrolyte in real time.

5 September 2017

Cheaper ways to make strong permanent magnets

New technique transforms common materials into powerful magnets.

9 August 2017

More accurate diagnosis for multiple myeloma

New technique could lead to precise, personalized cancer diagnosis and monitoring.

17 July 2017

Researchers observe exotic superfluid in graphene

Two independent research teams observed same behavior in double bilayer graphene.

16 June 2017

MRI illuminates link between heart disease and mood disorders

High-resolution brain imaging provides evidence of depression, anxiety in diseased mice

16 June 2017

Connection between superconductivity and insulator-metal transition

The finding in fullerides opens a new way of exploring the role electron interactions play in high-temperature superconductivity

30 May 2017

Pressure converts an insulator into a metal

The novel behavior could help scientists better understand the mechanisms behind high-temperature superconductivity.