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.

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

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.

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.

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

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 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 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

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.

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

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

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.

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 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.

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