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.

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.

22 November 2021

New quantum tricks in nitride materials

Gallium nitride (GaN) and Niobium nitride (NbN) are widely used in today's technologies: GaN is used to make blue LEDs and high-frequency transistors while NbN is used to make infrared light detectors. This experiment explores whether a nitride-based device may be relevant for quantum technologies of the future.

25 October 2021

Sunlight converts plastics into diverse chemical mixtures

Sunlight can chemically transform plastics from consumer plastic bags into complex chemical mixtures that leach into the ocean. Understanding the impact of plastic pollution requires advanced analytical techniques that can identify transformed plastic molecules in water samples, and requires instrumentation only available at the Maglab.

25 October 2021

Unusual high-field state discovered in mineral atacamite

Scientists at the Pulsed Field Facility recently found that applying an intense magnetic field to the mineral atacamite (a "frustrated" quantum magnet) yields unusual behavior associated with a novel state of matter known as quantum spin liquid.

25 October 2021

Resilient Bi-2212 Round Wire

Researchers studied the mechanics of supercurrent flow in state-of-the-art Bi-2212 superconducting round wires and learned that the microstructure of the superconducting filaments is inherently resilient, work that could open the door to new opportunities to raise supercurrent capacity of Bi-2212 round wires.

22 September 2021

Restoration of Breathing After Drug Overdose and Spinal Cord Injuries

Respiratory insufficiency is a leading cause of death due to drug overdose or spinal cord injuries. The diaphragm can be stimulated using temporal interference (TI) to restore ventilation with minimally invasive electrodes.

22 September 2021

Linear-In Temperature Resistivity From Isotropic Planckian Scattering Rate

Electrons in metals behave like chaotic bumper cars, crashing into each other at every opportunity. While they may be reckless drivers, this result demonstrates that this chaos has a limit established by the laws of quantum mechanics. Using the 45T hybrid magnet and a crystal of high-temperature superconducting material, scientists were able to measure this boundary using high fields to bend electron trajectories to their will.

22 September 2021

Advanced Microscopy for Better Nanostructural Insights in Bi-2212 Round Wires

Researchers working to push the high temperature superconducting material (Bi-2212) to the forefront of superconducting magnet technology have used novel characterization methods to understand the complex relationship between its processing and its superconducting properties, specifically its current carrying capabilities. 

20 August 2021

First Spin Coherence Measurements in the MagLab's 32T Superconducting Magnet

The MagLab's 32 T all-superconducting magnet is now serving users at full field. An early experiment in the magnet identified an important milestone on the road to quantum computers.

22 July 2021

New High-Magnetic-Field Thermometers for Sub-Millikelvin Temperatures

This highlight focuses on the development of new thermometry required to study quantum materials and phenomena in high magnetic fields and at ultralow temperatures. The team has demonstrated that exceedingly small quartz tuning forks bathed in liquid 3He maintain a constant calibration that is magnetic field independent, thereby opening the use of these devices as new sensors of the response of quantum systems.

22 July 2021

A New Method for Understanding Dynamic Nuclear Polarization

A new method to study how the nuclei of atoms “communicate” with one another in the presence of unpaired electron spins has been developed at the MagLab. Known as hyperpolarization resurgence (HypRes), this method benefits and expands the application of a revolutionary technique known as dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP), which provides enormous signal enhancements in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments.

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