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 programs.

13 May 2015

Magnetic Resonance Imaging of an intact fruit fly brain at 10 micron resolution

In this paper, we obtained the first brain map of a complete fruit fly head at 10 micron isotropic resolution, the highest ever reported by MR for a complete head. Using two complementary imaging sequences revealed the superior power of DWI to dissect the brain architecture at close to cellular resolution.

12 May 2015

An approach for dynamic nuclear polarization of membrane proteins

Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) coupled with solid state NMR can provide orders of magnitude enhancement to normally weak NMR signals, thereby enabling the study of inherently dilute proteins such as membrane proteins. Here we demonstrate a new approach to obtain DNP signal enhancements of membrane proteins by utilizing spin labeled lipids as the polarization agents. This strategy results in more than 2x in signal enhancements of a membrane protein when compared to standard DNP sample preparation techniques.

12 May 2015

Anomalous Magnetic Ground-State of the LaAlO3/SrTiO3 Interface Probed by Transport Through Nanowires

The work by Dagan et. al. explores the emergence and coexistence of superconductivity and magnetism at the interface between insulating, non-magnetic LaAlO3 and SrTiO3 nanowires at low temperatures. The effect of the antiparallel magnetic order on the resistance of the 50 nm wide patterned wires follows the form of giant magnetoresistance (GMR) at low applied magnetic fields.

11 April 2015

20 kA HTS Current Leads for the Series-Connected Hybrid Magnet

The Series Connected Hybrid magnet that is under fabrication at the NHMFL will utilize current leads containing high temperature superconductor to deliver 20 kA with low heat loads to the helium circuit. The leads have been successfully tested and are ready for installation into the magnet system.

10 April 2015

Controlled Under Pressure: Exchange Anisotropy in Organic Magnets

MagLab users have employed a combination of ab-initio theory and a newly developed high-pressure, high-field ferromagnetic resonance technique, which is uniquely sensitive to anisotropic magnetic interactions, to gain insights into the importance of spin-orbit coupling effects in a range of organic materials where this effect is usually considered to be small. The findings may be applicable to topics as diverse as spintronics and topological spin phases.

10 April 2015

Overpressure furnace for processing Bi-2212 high-field magnets

An overpressure furnace capable of developing high current density in significant-sized coils (up to 15 cm diameter and 50 cm long) has been brought into commission. The furnace is enabling reaction of solenoids made out of Bi-2212 destined for tests of NMR quality magnets at proton frequencies greater than 1 GHz.

15 March 2015

Small hole pocket in the Fermi surface of underdoped YBCO

A team of researchers from Université de Sherbrooke, Laboratoire National des Champs Magnétiques Intenses (LNCMI), University of British Columbia, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory discovered a previously unobserved portion of the Fermi surface in underdoped YBCO. This discovery provides further evidence to support the picture of the Fermi surface being reconstructed as a result of charge density wave order developing in underdoped YBCO prior to the material entering the superconducting state at lower temperatures.

14 March 2015

The MagLab's 20th Annual Open House

Over 5,500 people visited from throughout the entire Southeast to attend the MagLab's 20th Annual Open House on February 21st.

14 March 2015

First Structure of a Protein in the M. tuberculosis Cell Division Apparatus

CrgA, a key Mycobacterium tuberculosis cell division protein that recruits five other proteins to the cell division apparatus has been structurally characterized using oriented sample and magic angle spinning solid state NMR. The protein has two transmembrane helices and an intrinsically disordered N-terminus. Binding sites have been identified for it's binding partners. Evaluating these binding sites may lead to effective drugs for either promoting and inhibiting cell division, both of which are of prime interest for the treatment of tuberculosis.

14 March 2015

13C NMR Metabolomics: Applications at Natural Abundance

13C NMR when used in metabolomics 1. Provides better peak list for database matching and spectral annotation, 2. Provides better group separation and loadings annotation when using multivariate statistical analysis, and 3. Prevents possible misidentification of metabolites.

16 February 2015

Atomic pantograph tunes magnetic ground state in a solid

A novel approach combining pulsed field optical FBG strain measurements in world-class magnets, with Density Functional based calculations to pinpoint the peculiar nanopantograph mechanism behind the magnetoelastic coupling, allows researchers to conclude that magnetic field and pressure are alternative ways to tune the quantum properties of the Shastry-Sutherland compound SrCu2(BO3)2

16 February 2015

Endohedral Metallofullerenes are Formed by Directed by Charge Transfer

An understanding of the formation mechanism of endohedral metallofullerenes may pave the way towards targeted synthesis of these nanomaterials, which are attractive for use in biomedicine and renewable energy. Their bottom-up synthesis is investigated and charge transfer from the encapsulated metal to carbon cage is determined to play a key role in formation.

15 January 2015

Quantum Hall Effect in a Three-Dimensional Topological Insulator

The work by Chen et. al. explores the quantum hall effect (QHE) that develops in BiSbTeSe2 at low temperatures and high magnetic fields. BiSbTeSe2 is a topological insulator, meaning it is a bulk insulating material that at low temperatures develops a quantum mechanical state that allows conduction of electrons at the surface similar to a metal. The observation of the QHE in BiSbTeSe2 is further confirmation of the theory governing these unique materials.

15 January 2015

Metallic Surface State of Correlated Topological Insulator

SmB6 has been studied for a number of years and its observed behavior had presented investigators with a conflicting set of observations that resisted explanation until recently. The observation of quantum oscillations by Li et. al. in what is a bulk insulator confirm that SmB6 becomes a topological insulator at low temperatures. A topological insulator is a material that develops a unique quantum mechanical state on its surface, which allows electrons to flow in a fashion similar to a metal.

15 January 2015

MagLab Middle School Mentorship

The MagLab facilitates a semester-long Middle School Mentorship Program that brings middle school students to work with MagLab scientists on a research project. This program is directed by CIRL’s Outreach Coordinator, Carlos Villa.

15 December 2014

Magnetic Field Induced Polarization in a Bose Glass State

High magnetic fields have been shown to induce strong electric polarizations in the doped organic quantum magnet, dichloro-tetrakis-thiourea, or DTN. The introduction of disorder in DTN leads to the formation of Bose glass states and the electric polarization is particularly enhanced at the transitions to the glass state.

15 December 2014

Evidence for extrinsic, impurity segregation at grain boundaries in high current-density K- and Co-doped BaFe2As2

Grain boundaries in BaFe2As2 (122), which is an iron-based superconductor, block current flow. This study, which was a collaboration with a group at Northwestern University, used a Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP), which is a relatively new experimental tool, to make a 3-D atom-by-atom reconstruction of a region of a 122 sample that included a grain boundary. The data showed that the chemical composition varied across the grain boundary and in that oxygen was present at the grain boundaries. These variations in composition may contribute to grain boundary's reduced current carrying capacity.

15 December 2014

Detailed Spectroscopic Study of a Square Planar High-Spin FeII Complex

Square-planar high-spin Fe(II) molecular compounds are rare. Using an easily modifiable pincer-type ligand, the successful synthesis of the first compound of this type that breaks the FeO4 motif was achieved, and the first spectroscopic evidence that the geometry and spin state persist in solution was obtained.

17 November 2014

Magnet Lab Spooky Science Event

The MagLab holds a Halloween themed event each year in October. This year the event was held Oct. 28. The Spooky Science event brings families to the lab for tours, hands-on activities, and a variety of other events planned by Public Affairs, the Center for Integrating Research and Learning, and scientists at the lab.

17 November 2014

Metabolic properties in stroked rats revealed by relaxation-enhanced MR spectroscopy at 21.1 T

By coupling selective band excitation of metabolites with high magnetic fields, relaxation-enhanced 1H MR spectroscopy can be performed in living specimen and patients to achieve high sensitivity over very short acquisition times for the examination of cellular dysfunction. This sensitivity can be used to evaluate otherwise inaccessible metabolites or regions of the proton spectral regime and can be used to probe cell-specific environments, such as neurons versus astrocytes, that may undergo differential changes during dysregulation.

17 November 2014

26 T Magnet for Neutron Scattering

The seven-year collaboration with the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin resulted in a 26 T magnet for neutron scattering. This magnet is very similar to the FSU/NSF series-connected hybrid magnet and suggests that the FSU magnet will also be successful, thereby enabling new science on two continents with two very different sets of experimental techniques.

20 October 2014

Transport in the quantum critical regime of the iron arsenide superconductor BaFe2(As1-x Px)2

High magnetic fields reveal the electronic interactions underlying high-temperature superconductivity in the iron pnictides. This research unifies the superconducting phase diagram of the pnictides with those of other quantum critical, high-temperature superconductors, such at the cuprates.

20 October 2014

Targeted Petroleomics: Macondo Well Oil Oxidation Products on Pensacola Beach

The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2012 resulted in the release of ~5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, a fraction of which washed ashore onto Gulf beaches. We compare the detailed molecular analysis of hydrocarbons in oiled sands from Pensacola Beach to the Macondo wellhead oil (MWO) by Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry to identify major environmental transformation products of polar, high molecular weight petrogenic material from Pensacola Beach.

19 September 2014

Tunable fractional quantum Hall phases in bilayer graphene

Graphene continues to be a material of intense study at the MagLab. The work by Maher et. al., describes the ability to tune quantum hall states in a bilayer device using electric fields. This produces unexpected patterns of transitions in the quantum hall state that will be explored in future work.

17 September 2014

Imaging Gene Transfer and Muscle Metabolism

AMRIS 11.1 and 17.6T Magnets and probes were used to directly image gene expression in live mouse muscles with in vivo 31P NMR techniques.

14 August 2014

SciGirls Summer Camp Introduces Middle School Girls to STEM Role Models

SciGirls Summer Camp is the result of a partnership between the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and our local public television station, WFSU. This camp gives middle school girls the opportunity to work with STEM professionals on hands-on projects. Thirty six middle school students participated in this year's camp, which was held from July 14-25. The girls participated in a number of activities planned by MagLab scientists.

14 August 2014

Influence of Electronic Spin and Spin−Orbit Coupling on Decoherence in Transition Metal Complexes

Enabling the rational synthesis of molecular candidates for quantum information processing requires design principles that minimize electron spin decoherence. Two series of paramagnetic coordination complexes, [M(C2O4)3]3- (M = Ru, Cr, Fe) and [M(CN)6]3- (M = Fe, Ru, Os), were prepared and subsequently interrogated by pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy to assess quantitatively the influence of the magnitude of spin (S = 1/2, 3/2, 5/2) and spin–orbit coupling (ζ = 464, 880, 3100 cm–1) on decoherence. The results illustrate that the design of qubit candidates can be achieved with a wide range of paramagnetic ions and spin states while preserving a long-lived coherence.

14 August 2014

Permanent magnetic properties in Bulk Mn1-xGax that begin to rival commercial rare-earth magnets

Mn-Ga has been characterized as a candidate lower-cost material for substituting rare earth materials in permanent magnets.

16 July 2014

MagLab Summer Camps Feature Robotic World Cup Soccer

The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory hosts two one-week co-educational summer camps in June. This year the campers got into the spirit of World Cup Soccer. The MagLab camp teachers facilitated campers' understanding and practical applications of computer programming and robotics through the robots. The final event was a Robot World Cup Match.

16 July 2014

Competing Quantum Hall Phases in the Second Landau Level of 2D Electron Systems

New physics has had to be invoked to explain the existence of exotic quantum Hall states such as the n =5/2 and 7/2 states. Recent progress in fabrication of high-quality low-density samples allows one to probe these states in a new regime where the electron-electron interactions are strong. The results reveal the existence of anisotropic transport for n = 7/2 in a high-quality very dilute 2D electron system. The new behavior is attributed to a large Landau level mixing effect that perturbs the pairing stability of composite fermions in the dilute limit.

16 July 2014

Normal State Electronic Structure in Underdoped High-Tc Cuprates

Comprehensive angle-resolved quantum oscillation measurements on YBa2Cu3O6+x in magnetic fields approaching 100 tesla are used to address longstanding problem of the normal state electronic of underdoped high temperature superconducting cuprates. The symmetry of the Fermi surface points uniquely to its reconstruction by biaxial ordering of the charge and bond degrees of freedom.

18 June 2014

Engineering Theranostic Nanovehicles to Target Cerebrovascular Amyloid

Targeted theranostic nanovehicles are capable of targeting cerebrovascular amyloid associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and serving as early diagnostic and therapeutic agents across multiple imaging modalities. Assessed in animal models at 21.1 T, these nanovehicles were loaded with gadolinium-based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), iodine-based single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) or fluorescent contrast agents as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-amyloidogenic pharmaceuticals to demonstrate targeted enhancement and treatment in cerebral amyloid angiopathy.

18 June 2014

High Field Quantum Spin Hall State in Graphene

Using the high magnetic fields available at the NHMFL, users from MIT were able to observe a quantum spin hall (QSH) state in graphene. The QSH state results in two oppositely oriented spin currents flowing clockwise and counter clockwise around the edge of the graphene flake without dissipation effects. This discovery further advances the exciting work being done to bring about spin based electronics.

17 June 2014

Direct Characterization of Porphyrins in Petroleum from Natural Seeps

Atmospheric pressure photoionization (APPI) Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) provides ultrahigh resolving power (m/Δm50% > 1,000,000 at m/z 500) and sub-ppm mass error (50 ppb) required to identify nickel porphyrin isotopes for unambiguous elemental composition assignment. We also report the first simultaneous identification and categorization of both vanadyl and nickel porphyrins in the same sample, without prior sample fractionation.

15 June 2014

CIRL represents the MagLab at the USA Science and Engineering Festival

Staff from the Center for Integrating Research and Learning represented the MagLab in a booth at USA Science and Engineering Festival held in Washington DC held April 25-27. More than 1,500 visitors stopped by the booth over the three days.

15 May 2014

Magnetoplasmons in Quasi-neutral Epitaxial Graphene Nanoribbons

Utilizing the sensitivity of the NHMFL optics facility, a team of scientists from Georgia Tech, Sandia National Laboratories, Institut Néel, Université Paris-Sud and the NHMFL were able to observe collective oscillations of Dirac Fermions in graphene nanoribbons. The observed effect is tunable by varying the width of the graphene nanoribbons and the applied magnetic field. This observation raises the possibility of graphene based tunable THz devices.

15 May 2014

Anomalous Translational Diffusion in Neural Tissue

A new non-Brownian model of anomalous translational diffusion in nervous tissue is introduced and applied to the brain. This model provides new fractional order parameters of diffusion, entropy, waiting time and jump length that represent unique markers of morphology in neural tissue.

8 April 2014

High-Field EPR Studies of the Mn(II) Centers in Bacillus subtilis Oxalate Decarboxylase

Oxalate Decarboxylase (OxDC) is an enzyme that catalyzes the manganese-dependent breakdown of the oxalate monoanion into carbon dioxide and formate. EPR measurements performed at very high magnetic fields greatly simplify the task of assigning fine structure parameters to each of the Mn(II) centers in wild-type OxDC. The results provide new insights into the strengths and limitations of theoretical methods for understanding protein-bound Mn(II), setting the stage for future EPR studies of Mn(II) centers in OxDC.

8 April 2014

Neutron Scattering at 25 Teslas: MagLab Completes Coil for Series-Connected Hybrid Magnet

The MagLab has delivered the resistive insert coils for the 25-Tesla Series Connected Hybrid Magnet for the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. This magnet system includes a unique conical warm bore with 30 degree opening angle and will be used for neutron-scattering experiments and an unprecedented 25T central field. This constitutes a 47% increase in magnetic field available for these experiments while also providing an increase in solid-angle.

14 March 2014

Giant Plasticity in the Quantum Solid, HCP4He

High precision NMR studies of dilute impurities in solid 4He have demonstrated the existence of an unexpected lattice relaxation at low temperatures (T<0.2K). This new effect is attributed to the quantum plasticity reported in studies of the elastic constants in the same temperature regime.

14 March 2014

First High-Resolution Structures of Antimicrobial Peptides Reveal Important Structural Features

Structures of antimicrobial peptides piscidins 1 and 3 were solved in two bacterial cell mimics by oriented sample solid-state NMR. A significant finding of this work is that in contrast to the ideal structures shown in mechanistic studies of AMPs, the structures of both peptides are disrupted and kinked at a conserved central glycine, which results in stronger interactions with the lipid bilayers. The more pronounced imperfect amphipathicity of piscidin 1 over piscidin 3 that is revealed helps better understand why the former more effectively mixes the lipids as needed to induce the greatest damage to bacterial cells.

10 February 2014

Interplay between Frustration and Spin-Orbit Coupling in Vanadates

The high-magnetic field phase diagram to 65 Tesla of the MV2O4 family (M = Cd, Mg) reveals new multiferroic phase transitions that point to an unusual interplay between spin-orbit interactions and frustrated magnetism.

10 February 2014

Nucleotide-Induced Conformational Changes in Tetrameric GroEL Mapped by Hydrogen/Deuterium Exchange

GroEL is a large (molecular weight ≈ 800,000) protein complex composed of two heptamers arranged like stacked doughnuts. By “spray-painting” the complex with heavy water, and then cutting into pieces with an enzyme and weighing the pieces, we are able to map the solvent accessibility throughout the complex, and observe conformational changes induced by binding of an analog of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), thereby illuminating the mechanism by which ATP activates the complex for its biological function.

15 January 2014

Dissolution DNP Polarizer for In Vivo 13C MRI

The MagLab’s AMRIS facility has recently implemented dissolution DNP technology. The system utilizes a 5 T magnet in which samples are cooled to 14,000 gain in SNR on dissolution and injection into our 4.7T MRI/S scanner.

16 December 2013

All-Electrical Nuclear Spin Polarization of Donors in Silicon

Measurements performed in the EMR program demonstrate that the nuclear spins associated with donor states in silicon field-effect transistors can be polarized at high magnetic fields by controlling the current and gate voltage on the device, i.e., the nuclear polarization can be controlled purely by electrical means.

16 December 2013

MagLab Completes 13 Tesla, 5-Ton Superconducting Coil for HZB

The MagLab has successfully completed construction of the cold-mass of a series-connected hybrid magnet for the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

16 December 2013

Low Temperature High Field Continuous Measurement of YBCO

Scientists have developed a new way to test tape made of the promising high-temperature superconductor YBCO, a key step toward building stronger superconducting magnets.

15 November 2013

Pressure-Driven Fermi Surface Reconstruction of Chromium

Using the 35 T and 45T magnet systems, coupled with high pressures up to 1.47 GPa, researchers at the Magnet Lab have observed a massive, pressure induced change in the Fermi surface of elemental chromium. Part of this reorganization results in the creation of quantum interference oscillations at high pressures which behave differently from those arising from standard Landau quantization.

15 November 2013

Solid state NMR Structural Characterization of Oligomeric β-amyloid (1-42) Peptide

Solid state NMR measurements reveal an important structural distinction between different disease-relevant aggregates: oligomers and fibrils. While molecular confirmations are similar within both structures, oligomers differ from fibrils in terms of intermolecular organization of beta-strands.

23 October 2013

The Single Sex Debate for Girls in Science: A Comparison Between Two Science Programs

This study compared the effects of two Magnet Lab STEM informal education programs on students’ STEM identities (particularly as it relates to interest in STEM and perceptions of STEM professionals/careers). The results indicate that both camps significantly improved girls’ STEM identities.

23 October 2013

Oil Spill Characterization by Ultrahigh Resolution ICR Mass Spectrometry

Traditional tools for routine environmental analysis and forensic chemistry of petroleum have relied almost exclusively on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), although many compounds in crude oil (and its transformation products) are not chromatographically separated or amenable to GC-MS due to volatility. We apply ultrahigh resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometry to identify compositional changes at the molecular level between native and weathered crude oil samples and reveal enrichment in polar compounds inaccessible by GC-based characterization.

23 October 2013

Bounding the Pseudogap in Cuprate High-TC Superconductors

Scientists of the NHMFL-PFF have employed Resonant Ultrasound Spectroscopy to reveal a thermodynamic signature of the “Pseudo-Gap” within and beyond the superconducting phase boundary of YBCO. This experiment provides thermodynamic evidence that the pseudo gap is connected to the superconducting ground state in the cuprate materials.

30 September 2013

Magnets with High-Temperature Superconducting Round Wire

MagLab scientists developed a method to process high-temperature superconducting Bi-2122 round wire that significantly boosts its ability to carry large electrical currents and generate high magnetic fields.

15 September 2013

Observation of Single-File Diffusion in Dipeptide Nanotubes

Researchers using pulsed field gradient NMR at the AMRIS facility found clear evidence for molecular single file diffusion of xenon gas confined inside model nanotube systems.

15 September 2013

Quantum Hall Effect in Hydrogenated Graphene

Using the 45T hybrid magnet, researchers uncover the quantum Hall effect in hydrogenated graphene.

15 August 2013

Giant Ising-Type Magnetic Anisotropy in Trigonal Bipyramidal Ni(II) Complexes

Research suggests that anisotropy in the high-symmetry coordination environment of Ni(II) complex is an order of magnitude larger than any previously known.

15 August 2013

Oxypnictide SmFeAs(O,F) Superconductor: A Candidate for High-field Magnet Applications

Researchers find high critical current density in the recently discovered oxypnictide superconductor SmFeAs(O,F), raising hopes for potential electronics applications.

15 July 2013

Quantum Spin Ice: Pyrochlore Quantum Magnet Tb2Ti2O7 at Ultra-Low Temperatures

New research at the lab’s High B/T facility supports the proposal that the disordered ground state of terbium titanate is a quantum spin ice.

15 June 2013

In vivo Chlorine and Sodium MRI of Rat Brain at 21.1 T

Using the lab’s 21 tesla magnet to image chlorine in the brain, researchers explore new ways to track tumor growth.

5 June 2013

Massive Dirac Fermions and Hofstadter Butterfly in a van der Waals Heterostructure

Thanks to conditions created by the MagLab’s 45 tesla hybrid magnet, scientists have made a technological breakthrough on graphene: When they placed it on top of hexagonal boron nitride, graphene became a semiconductor.

5 June 2013

Hofstadter’s Butterfly in Moiré Superlattices

Using the 45 tesla hybrid magnet, researchers at the MagLab observed the long-predicted but never-before-seen fractal known as the Hofstadter butterfly. This work enriches our understanding of the basic physics of electrons in a magnetic field and opens a new route for exploring the role of topology in condensed matter systems.

5 June 2013

Magnetic Field-Induced Delocalized to Localized Transformation in GaAs:N

Using optical spectroscopy and the MagLab’s unique 60 tesla long-pulse magnet in Los Alamos, scientists have shown how nitrogen dopant atoms in gallium arsenide (GaAs) can form extended “supercluster” states or can break up into localized nitrogen clusters. Nitrogen-doped GaAs (GaAs1-xNx) is a semiconductor alloy with potential applications for a wide range of energy-related applications such as photovoltaics.

5 June 2013

Creating a Pseudo-Atomic Model of the COPII Cage

Using a novel combination of techniques, scientists researching the COPII protein created a pseudo-atomic model of the COPII cage, gaining a better understanding of how its 96 subunits fit together.

15 May 2013

Emergence of Superconductivity from the Insulating State in La2-xSrxCuO4

Research on La2-xSrxCuO4 provides a new perspective on the mechanism for the superconductor-insulator transition in cuprates, one of the key questions in condensed matter physics.

15 May 2013

1.5-mm High Temperature Superconducting NMR Probe Optimized for 13C

A new 1.5-mm high-temperature superconducting probe designed to detect carbon 13 will significantly enhance studies in natural products and metabolomics.

15 May 2013

Transition From Slow-moving Abrikosov Vortices to Fast-moving Josephson Vortices in an Iron Superconductor

Josephson vortices were unexpectedly observed in the high-temperature iron superconductor SmFeAs(O,F), despite the material’s low electronic anisotropy. This development is important for the future deployment in high-Tc cable technology.

15 May 2013

Topology of the Cell Metabolome by NMR

Using a novel NMR approach, scientists characterize the metabolome of E. coli cells, determining 112 topologies of unique metabolites from a single sample.

15 April 2013

Quench Protection for the 32 T All-Superconducting Magnet

A prototype high-temperature superconducting coil for the 32 T all-superconducting magnet was constructed with YBCO tape and successfully tested in the large more resistive magnet at the MagLab.

15 April 2013

Artificial and Self-assembled Vortex-pinning Centers in Superconducting Ba(Fe1-xCox)2As2 Thin Films

Here we study the microstructural and transport properties of Co-Ba122 thin films in which secondary non-superconducting phases have been introduced during film growth in two different ways: first by using a Co-Ba122 target with a small amount of oxygen, second by alternating two different targets: a clean CoBa122 and an undoped Ba122 target.

15 April 2013

High-Frequency and -Field EPR Detection of a Di-radical Intermediate

This work defines a new mechanism for radical-mediated catalysis of a protein substrate, and has broad implications for applied biocatalysis and for understanding oxidative protein modification during oxidative stress.

15 February 2013

Magnetic Structure and Magneto–electric Coupling in Multiferroics

Multiferroics — “Spintronics without heat” — coupled ferromagnetism and ferroelectricity can provide a new class of functional materials for needed applications including magnetic sensing, data storage and manipulation, high–frequency and high–power electronics, and energy savings.

15 February 2013

Characterization of Pine Pellet and Peanut Hull Pyrolysis Bio-Oils by Negative-Ion Electrospray Ionization FT&-ICR Mass Spectrometry

Pyrolysis of solid biomass, in this case pine pellets and peanut hulls, generates a hydrocarbon-rich liquid product (bio-oil) consisting of oily and aqueous phases. Here, each phase is characterized by negative-ion electrospray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (ESI FT-ICR MS) to yield unique chemical formulas for thousands of compounds.

15 January 2013

Quantum Oscillations in a Candidate Topological Superconductor, a Copper-doped Topological Insulator: Cu1/4Bi2Se3

A superconducting ground state has been observed at T < 3.8 K in copper-doped Bi2Se3 single crystals. Topological superconductivity is predicted in this material, assuming the superconducting electrons follow the linear energy-momentum dispersion (Dirac-like) seen in graphene and other materials of current interest. However, this presumption had not yet been confirmed by quantum oscillation measurements.

15 January 2013

Male and Female Mating Pheromones in Panagrellus redivivus

Nematodes are the most abundant animal on earth, and they live in virtually every ecological niche on earth. Parasitic species have a significant health and economic impact through the infection of crops, domestic animals, and humans. Therefore, we are working to unravel the chemical language used by nematodes, with the ultimate goals of better understanding the role of small molecules in regulating behavior and of developing new approaches to control nematode parasites.

15 December 2012

Di-Nitrogen Activation by Vanadium(III) Complexes for Chemical Catalysis

Researchers from the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory user program performed high-frequency (329 GHz) electron magnetic resonance (EMR) experiments to address questions of fundamental importance in catalysis 1) improving industrial production of ammonia and ammonia-derived fertilizers, and 2) understanding of the atmospheric nitrogen cycle.

15 December 2012

Large Cable-in-Conduit Coil Fabrication at the MagLab

MagLab engineers are building two cable-in-conduit superconducting coils for hybrid magnets, each with a resistive inner coil and a superconducting outer coil.

15 December 2012

Filament Fracture in ITER Conductor under Cyclic Lorentz Force Loading

First direct evidence that filament fracture accompanies degradation of superconducting cables designed for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) — The tokomak fusion reactor ITER, now under construction in France, is an international collaboration crucial to future energy generation from nuclear fusion.

15 November 2012

Relativistic Fermions and Quantum Magnetoresistance in CaMnBi2

We report two-dimensional (2D) Dirac fermions and quantum magnetoresistance (MR) in Bi square nets of CaMnBi2 crystals.

15 November 2012

High-Resolution MRI Probe for STRAFI Studies of Solid Material

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of solid materials entails numerous problems from short longitudinal relaxation (T2) times to requiring strong gradients to attain high resolution images. A promising technique to address these issues is the Stray Field Imaging (STRAFI) method.

15 October 2012

Powerful New Ionization Technique for Mass Spectroscopy That Avoids Fragmentation of Saturated Hydrocarbons

Here, we present a powerful new approach for the analysis of saturated hydrocarbon mixtures: atmospheric pressure laser- induced acoustic desorption chemical ionization (AP/LIAD-CI) with oxygen carrier/reagent gas.

15 September 2012

Symmetry Breaking in Graphene

Tilted magnetic fields were used to classify the broken symmetry states by their spin polarization. It was found that graphene turns into either a spin ferromagnet or some variety of density wave.

15 August 2012

Understanding Nanoscale Magnetization Dynamics via High-Field EPR

Molecules that exhibit slow magnetic relaxation upon removal from a polarizing magnetic field are referred to as single-molecule magnets (SMMs). SMMs receive considerable attention owing to their potential utility in applications such as spin-based information storage. In these systems, the slow relaxation normally arises from the action of an easy-axis magnetic anisotropy, quantified by a negative axial zero-field splitting parameter, D < 0, on a high-spin ground state. Two separate EPR studies carried out in the DC field facility by users from UC Berkeley (chemistry) have identified compounds that undergo slow relaxation, even though the relevant magnetic ions possess easy-plane-type anisotropy (i.e. D > 0).

15 August 2012

High Critical Current Density in Fine-grain (Ba0.6K0.4)Fe2As2

Ferro-pnictide superconductors attracted immediate attention for potential applications due to their high superconducting transition temperatures (Tc up to 56 K) and high upper critical magnetic fields (Hc2 over 100 T). Unfortunately, much as in cuprates, grain boundaries (GBs) were found to obstruct their current carrying capability. This posed a serious technological problem because wires for magnets cannot be single crystals and, thus, inevitably contain grain boundaries. This work shows that low-temperature synthesis of the compound (Ba0.6K0.4)Fe2As2 (Ba-122) in the form of polycrystalline wire achieves a current density three times that of state-of-the-art Nb3Sn wires.

16 July 2012

Novel Fractional Quantum Hall States in Two-Dimensional Electron Systems

This experiment probes the nature of the 12/5 Fractional Quantum Hall state by using a hydraulic-driven rotator to tilt the two-dimensional system in a magnetic field.

16 July 2012

Adjustable Sliding Ring Coil for Neuroimaging in Vertical High Fields

Biomedical researchers have a unique tool to investigate a variety of living and excised specimen with the MagLab’s 21.1 T 900-MHz ultra-widebore (105-mm) vertical magnet. However, there are challenges to performing research in a high-field vertical magnet, which have been addressed by a NHMFL-led team of international scientists working to make very high field or ultra high field MRI more flexible. This team has constructed a tunable sliding ring transmit/receive volume coil for 900-MHz hydrogen MRI that provides the uniformity and sensitivity for high resolution and functional imaging of living samples while accommodating unique excised samples to improve characterization and throughput. This new design incorporates the apparatus necessary for maintaining animals in a vertical position while providing remote tuning and sample flexibility beyond most available coils.

15 June 2012

The Smallest Stable Fullerene, M@C28 (M = Ti, Zr, U)

Buckminster Fullerenes ("Buckyballs") have fascinated chemists since the original discovery of C60, leading to the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for Curl, Kroto and Smalley. Although fullerenes of various sizes have since been observed, the theoretically smallest fullerene, C28, has until now escaped detection, due to its high curvature and thus high reactivity.

15 June 2012

Magnetostriction and Magnetic Texture to 100.75 Tesla in Frustrated SrCu2(BO3)2

Magnetic systems provide controllable “model” systems to study interacting many body quantum effects, relevant to poorly understood problems beyond the realm of magnetism. For example, disorder leads to Bose glass behavior, enabling study of the Bose-glass to BEC transition in quantum magnets — a key component to understanding the superconductor-to-insulator quantum phase transition. High magnetic fields drive Bose glasses into Bose-Einstein condensates.

15 May 2012

First Superfluorescence in a Solid

Superfluorescence, historically, is the spontaneous emission of light from a collection of excited atoms. Scientists visiting the MagLab recently discovered superfluorescence for the first time in a solid material, by shining an extremely brief pulse of light on a layered semiconductor located in an intense magnetic field. In response, superfluorescent light of a different color was emitted thirty trillionths of a second later. Superfluorescence can be used to produce light of any desired color and could be enhanced to occur at room temperature and without magnetic fields. Superfluorescent devices would be powerful tools for optical communications.

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