Physics - Materials Science Publications (50)


Physics - Materials Science Publications

A uniformly coated MoS2/Carbon-nanocomposite with three-dimensional hierarchical architecture based on carbonized bacterial cellulose (CBC) nanofibers is synthesized by a facile one-step hydrothermal method followed by thermal annealing at 700 {\deg}C in Ar atmosphere. Strong hydrogen bonds between the Mo precursor and the BC nanofibers are found to be crucial for the in-situ growth of MoS2 nanosheets on the nanofibers during hydrothermal process. The unique structure was maintained and the connection between MoS2 and nanofibers were strengthened in the sintering process, leading to an improved stability of the resulting nanocomposite upon electrochemical cycling. Read More

Hierarchical C@MoS2@C hollow spheres with the active MoS2 nanosheets being sandwiched by carbon layers have been produced by means of a modified template method. The process applies polydopamine (PDA) layers which inhibit morphology change of the template thereby enforcing the hollow microsphere structure. In addition, PDA forms complexes with the Mo precursor, leading to an in-situ growth of MoS2 on its surface and preventing the nanosheets from agglomeration. Read More

The polyol route is a versatile and up-scalable method to produce large batches of iron oxide nanoparticles with well-defined structure and magnetic properties. Controlling parameters such as temperature and duration of reaction, heating profile, nature of polyol solvent or of organometallic precursors were reported in previous studies of literature, but none of them described yet the crucial role of water in the forced hydrolysis pathway, whose presence is mandatory for nanoparticle production. This communication investigates the influence of the water amount and temperature at which it is injected in the reflux system for either pure polyol or mixture with a poly(hydroxy) amine. Read More

The influence of the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction on the spin-wave dispersion in an Fe double layer grown on W(110) is measured for the first time. It is demonstrated that the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction breaks the degeneracy of spin waves and leads to an asymmetric spin-wave dispersion relation. An extended Heisenberg spin Hamiltonian is employed to obtain the longitudinal component of the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya vectors from the experimentally measured energy asymmetry. Read More

This Topical Review presents an overview of the recent experimental results on the quantitative determination of the magnetic exchange parameters in ultrathin magnetic films and multilayers, grown on different substrates. The experimental approaches to probe both the symmetric Heisenberg as well as the antisymmetric Dzyaloshinskii--Moriya exchange interaction in ultrathin magnetic films and at interfaces are discussed in detail. It is explained how the experimental spectrum of magnetic excitations can be used to quantify the strength of these interactions. Read More


Structural identification of double-walled carbon nanotubes (DWNT) is presented through a robust procedure based on the latest generation of transmission electron microscope, making possible a statistical analysis based on numerous nano-objects. This approach reveals that inner and outer tubes of DWNTs are not randomly oriented, suggesting the existence of a mechanical coupling between the two concentric walls. With the support of atomic scale modelisations, we attribute it to the presence of incommensurate domains whose structures depend on the diameters and helicities of both tubes, and where inner tubes try to achieve a local stacking orientation to reduce strain effects. Read More

Nanoporous graphitic carbon membranes with defined chemical composition and pore architecture are novel nanomaterials that are actively pursued. Compared to easy-to-make porous carbon powders that dominate the porous carbon research and applications in energy generation/conversion and environmental remediation, porous carbon membranes are synthetically more challenging though rather appealing from an application perspective due to their structural integrity, interconnectivity and purity. Here we report a simple bottom-up approach to fabricate large-size, freestanding, porous carbon membranes that feature an unusual single-crystal-like graphitic order and hierarchical pore architecture plus favorable nitrogen doping. Read More

Conjugate gradient methods for energy minimization in micromagnetics are compared. When the step length in the line search is controlled, conjugate gradient techniques are a fast and reliable way to compute the hysteresis properties of permanent magnets. The method is applied to investigate demagnetizing effects in NdFe12 based permanent magnets. Read More

Excitons, Coulomb bound electron-hole pairs, are composite bosons and their interactions in traditional semiconductors lead to condensation and light amplification. The much stronger Coulomb interaction in transition metal dichalcogenides such as WSe$_2$ monolayers combined with the presence of the valley degree of freedom is expected to provide new opportunities for controlling excitonic effects. But so far the bosonic character of exciton scattering processes remains largely unexplored in these two-dimensional (2D) materials. Read More

We study vortex domain wall dynamics in wide Permalloy strips driven by applied magnetic fields and spin-polarized electric currents. As recently reported [V. Est\'evez and L. Read More

Surface plasmon polariton, hyberbolic dispersion of energy and momentum, and emission interference provide opportunities to control photoluminescence properties. However, the regimes where each of them dominates or overlaps with one another remain to be clarified to fully understand and take advantage of these phenomena in optoelectronic applications. Here, we investigate, both experimentally and theoretically, broadband effects of hyperbolic metamaterial (HMM) multilayer structures on the spontaneous emission of selected organic chromophores of which emission spans across the UV-vis spectral range. Read More

Cubic yttria-stabilized zirconia is widely used in industrial electrochemical devices. While its fast oxygen ion diffusion is well understood, why cation diffusion is much slower-its activation energy (~5 eV) is 10 times that of anion diffusion-remains a mystery. Indeed, all previous computational studies predicted more than 5 eV is needed for forming a cation defect, and another 5 eV for moving one. Read More

Motivated by the very recent proposal of topological quantum paramagnet in the diamond lattice antiferromagnet NiRh$_2$O$_4$, we propose a minimal model to describe the magnetic interaction and properties of the diamond material with the spin-one local moments. The minimal model includes the first and second neighbor Heisenberg interactions as well as a local single-ion spin anisotropy that is allowed by the spin-one nature of the local moment and the tetragonal symmetry of NiRh$_2$O$_4$ below 380K. We point out that there exists a quantum phase transition from a trivial quantum paramagnet when the single-ion spin anisotropy is dominant to the magnetic ordered states when the exchange is dominant. Read More

The negatively charged nitrogen-vacancy (NV-) center in diamond is a promising candidate for many quantum applications. Here, we examine the splitting and broadening of the center's infrared (IR) zero-phonon line (ZPL). We develop a model for these effects that accounts for the strain induced by photo-dependent microscopic distributions of defects. Read More

Single layers of transition metal dichalcogenides are two-dimensional direct bandgap semiconductors with degenerate, but inequivalent, `valleys' in the electronic structure that can be selectively excited by polarized light. Coherent superpositions of light and matter, exciton-polaritons, have been observed when these materials are strongly coupled to photons, but these hybrid quasiparticles do not harness the valley-sensitive excitations of monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides. Here, we demonstrate evidence for valley polarized exciton-polaritons in monolayers of MoS$_2$ embedded in a dielectric microcavity. Read More

In this Letter, we propose a generalization of the celebrated $S$-duality of four-dimensional quantum electrodynamics ($\text{QED}_4$) to $\text{QED}_4$ with fractionally charged excitations, the fractional $S$-duality. Such $\text{QED}_4$ can be obtained by gauging the $U(1)$ symmetry of a topologically ordered state with fractional charges. When time-reversal symmetry is imposed, the $\theta$ angle can take a nontrivial but still time-reversal invariant value $\pi/t^2$ ($t\in\mathbb{Z}$) where $1/t$ specifies the minimal electric charge carried by bulk excitations. Read More

Insulating Nb$_3$Cl$_8$ is a layered chloride consisting of two-dimensional triangular layers of $S_{eff}$ = 1/2 Nb$_3$Cl$_{13}$ clusters at room temperature. Magnetic susceptibility measurement show a sharp, hysteretic drop to a temperature independent value below $T = 90$ K. Specific heat measurements show that the transition is first order, with $\Delta S \approx 5\ \mathrm{J \cdot K^{-1} \cdot mol\ \mathit{f. Read More

Graphene oxide membranes show exceptional molecular permeation properties, with a promise for many applications. However, their use in ion sieving and desalination technologies is limited by a permeation cutoff of ~9 Angstrom, which is larger than hydrated ion diameters for common salts. The cutoff is determined by the interlayer spacing d ~13. Read More

Two aspects of the ambient pressure magnetic structure of heavy fermion material CeRhIn$_5$ have remained under some debate since its discovery: whether the structure is indeed an incommensurate helix or a spin density wave, and what is the precise magnitude of the ordered magnetic moment. By using a single crystal sample optimized for hot neutrons to minimize neutron absorption by Rh and In, here we report an ordered moment of 0.54(2) $\mu_B$. Read More

We present a detailed Small Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) and Neutron Spin Echo Spectroscopy (NSE) study of the structural and dynamical aspects of the helimagnetic transition in Fe$_{1-x}$Co$_x$Si with $x$ = 0.30. In contrast to the sharp transition observed in the archetype chiral magnet MnSi, the transition in Fe$_{1-x}$Co$_x$Si is gradual and long-range helimagnetic ordering coexists with short-range correlations over a wide temperature range. Read More

The structural nature of high-density amorphous ice (HDA), which forms through low-temperature pressure-induced amorphization of the 'ordinary' ice I, is heavily debated. Clarifying this question is not only important for understanding the complex condensed states of H$_2$O but also in the wider context of pressure-induced amorphization processes, which are encountered across the entire materials spectrum. We first show that ammonium fluoride (NH$_4$F), which has a similar hydrogen-bonded network to ice I, also undergoes a pressure collapse upon compression at 77 K. Read More

Femtosecond magneto-optical pump-probe measurements of ultrafast demagnetization show an intriguing difference in the first 100 fs of the magneto-optical Kerr response depending on whether the polarization of the pump and probe beams are in parallel or perpendicular configuration [Bigot et al., Nature Phys. 5, 515 (2009)]. Read More

We have successfully synthesized single crystals of EuNi$_5$As$_3$ using a flux method and we present a comprehensive study of the physical properties using magnetic susceptibility, specific heat, electrical resistivity, thermoelectric power and x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) measurements. EuNi$_5$As$_3$ undergoes two close antiferromagnetic transitions at respective temperatures of $T_{N1}$ = 7.2 K and $T_{N2}$ = 6. Read More

A eutectic reaction is a special chemical/physical reaction involving multiple phases, solid or liquid, to form a joint lattice structure with a unique atomic ratio between the components. Visualization of phase reaction of composite nanomaterials with high spatial and temporal resolution provides a key understanding of alloy growth with important industrial applications. However, it has been a rather challenging task. Read More

The Green function plays an essential role in the Kohn-Korringa-Rostocker (KKR) multiple scattering method. In practice, it is constructed from the regular and irregular solutions of the local Kohn-Sham equation and robust methods exist for spherical potentials. However, when applied to potentials of general shape, combining the regular and irregular solutions can give rise to numerical problems at small radius. Read More

Barocaloric effects in vulcanized natural rubber (V-NR) has been investigated. Direct measurements of the temperature change ({\Delta}T) around room temperature (283-333 K) resulted in large values, above 10 K, for a pressure change of 173 MPa. A power law was proposed to fit {\Delta}T as function of the maximum pressure, showing to be suitable for the barocaloric effect in V-NR. Read More

We report on the heterogeneous nucleation of catalyst-free InAs nanowires on Si (111) substrates by chemical beam epitaxy. We show that nanowire nucleation is enhanced by sputtering the silicon substrate with energetic particles. We argue that particle bombardment introduces lattice defects on the silicon surface that serve as preferential nucleation sites. Read More

Te NMR studies were carried out for the bismuth telluride topological insulator in a wide range from room temperature down to 12.5 K. The measurements were made on a Bruker Avance 400 pulse spectrometer. Read More

Up to now, investigation of physical properties of ternary and higher nitridometalates was severely hampered by challenges concerning phase purity and crystal size. Employing a modified lithium flux technique, we are now able to prepare sufficiently large single crystals of the highly air and moisture sensitive nitridoferrate Li$_2$Sr[Li$_{1-x}$Fe$_x$N]$_2$ for anisotropic magnetization measurements. The magnetic properties are most remarkable: large anisotropy and coercivity fields of 7\,Tesla at $T = 2$\,K indicate a significant orbital contribution to the magnetic moment of iron. Read More


Core and low energy electronic excitations have been studied in hexagonal boron nitride. Electron energy loss spectra have been measured using an electron microscope equipped with a monochromator and an in-column filter. Energy filtered diffraction patterns have been recorded and provide us with a global view of anisotropic effects in reciprocal space. Read More

Yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ), a ZrO2-Y2O3 solid solution that contains a large population of oxygen vacancies, is widely used in energy and industrial applications. Past computational studies correctly predicted the anion diffusivity but not the cation diffusivity, which is important for material processing and stability. One of the challenges lies in identifying a plausible configuration akin to the ground state in a glassy landscape. Read More

We have accurately determined the exciton binding energy and reduced mass of single crystals of methylammonium lead tri-iodide using magneto-reflectivity at very high magnetic fields. The single crystal has excellent optical properties with a narrow line width of $\sim 3$meV for the excitonic transitions and a 2s transition which is clearly visible even at zero magnetic field. The exciton binding energy of $16 \pm 2$meV in the low temperature orthorhombic phase is almost identical to the value found in polycrystalline samples, crucially ruling out any possibility that the exciton binding energy depends on the grain size. Read More

In this letter, we show that a new class of two-dimensional phosphorus allotropes can be constructed via assembling the previously proposed ultrathin metastable phosphorus nanotube into planar structures in different stacking orientations. Based on first-principles method, the structures, stabilities and fundamental electronic properties of these new two-dimensional phosphorus allotropes are systematically investigated. These two-dimensional phosphorus allotropes possess remarkable stabilities due to the strong inter-tube van der Waals interactions, which cause an energy release of about 30-70 meV/atom depending on their stacking manners. Read More

We have used Brillouin Light Scattering spectroscopy to independently determine the in-plane Magneto-Crystalline Anisotropy and the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya Interaction (DMI) in out-of-plane magnetized Au/Co/W(110). We found that the DMI strength is 2.5 larger along the bcc[001] than along the bcc[-110] direction. Read More

We compute the dielectric response of glasses starting from a microscopic system-bath Hamiltonian of the Zwanzig-Caldeira-Leggett type and using an ansatz from kinetic theory for the memory function in the resulting Generalized Langevin Equation. The resulting framework requires the knowledge of the vibrational density of states (DOS) as input, that we take from numerical evaluation of a marginally-stable harmonic disordered lattice, featuring a strong boson peak (excess of soft modes over Debye $\sim\omega_{p}^{2}$ law). The dielectric function calculated based on this ansatz is compared with experimental data for the paradigmatic case of glycerol at $T\lesssim T_{g}$. Read More

Amorphous solids or glasses are known to exhibit stretched-exponential decay over broad time intervals in several of their macroscopic observables: intermediate scattering function, dielectric relaxation modulus, time-elastic modulus etc. This behaviour is prominent especially near the glass transition. In this Letter we show, on the example of dielectric relaxation, that stretched-exponential relaxation is intimately related to the peculiar lattice dynamics of glasses. Read More

Reverse Monte Carlo modeling of liquid water, based on one neutron and one X-ray diffraction data set, applying also the most popular interatomic potential for water, SPC/E, has been performed. The strictly rigid geometry of SPC/E water molecules had to be loosened somewhat, in order to be able to produce a good fit to both sets of experimental data. In the final particle configurations, regularly shaped water molecules and straight hydrogen bonding angles were found to be consistent with diffraction results. Read More

Various novel physical properties have emerged in Dirac electronic systems, especially the topological characters protected by symmetry. Current studies on these systems have been greatly promoted by the intuitive concepts of Berry phase and Berry curvature, which provide precise definitions of the topological orders. In this topical review, transport properties of topological insulator (Bi2Se3), topological Dirac semimetal (Cd3As2) and topological insulator-graphene heterojunction are presented and discussed. Read More

Despite the recent success in the realization of the quantum anomalous Hall effect, the underlying physical mechanism of the long range Ferromagnetism is still unclear. Based on our density functional theory calculations, we discovered an intriguing long-range ferromagnetic order in Cr-doped, carrier-free Bi2Te3, with the separation between dopants more than 8 {\AA}. We found that this magnetic coupling is facilitated by an anti-bonding state originated from the lone pair of a Te 5p state and a Bi 6s state, despite this anti-bonding state lies below the valence band maximum. Read More

In this article we present a new method for construction of exact solutions of the Landau-Lifshitz-Gilbert equation (LLG) for ferromagnetic nanowires. The method is based on the established relationship between the LLG and the nonlinear Schr\"odinger equation (NLS), and is aimed at resolving an old problem: how to produce multiple-rogue wave solutions of NLS using just the Darboux-type transformations. The solutions of this type - known as P-breathers - have been proven to exist by Dubard and Matveev, but their technique heavily relied on using the solutions of yet another nonlinear equation, Kadomtsev-Petviashvili I equation (KP-I), and its relationship with NLS. Read More

Orientation effects on the resistivity of copper grain boundaries are studied systematically with two different atomistic tight binding methods. A methodology is developed to model the resistivity of grain boundaries using the Embedded Atom Model, tight binding methods and non-equilibrum Green's functions (NEGF). The methodology is validated against first principles calculations for small, ultra-thin body grain boundaries (<5nm) with 6. Read More

Na$_2$IrO$_3$ was one of the first materials proposed to feature the Kane-Mele type topological insulator phase. Contemporaneously it was claimed that the very same material is in a Mott insulating phase which is described by the Kitaev-Heisenberg (KH) model. First experiments indeed revealed Mott insulating behavior in conjunction with antiferromagnetic long-range order. Read More

Plastic deformation of metallic glasses performed well below the glass transition temperature leads to the formation of shear bands as a result of shear localization. It is believed that shear banding originates from individual stress concentrators having quadrupolar symmetry. To elucidate the underlying mechanisms of shear band formation, microstructural investigations were carried out on sheared zones using transmission electron microscopy. Read More

We demonstrate facile optical manipulation of shape of birefringent colloidal microparticles made from liquid crystal elastomers. Using soft lithography and polymerization, we fabricate elastomeric microcylinders with weakly undulating director oriented on average along their long axes. These particles are infiltrated with gold nanospheres acting as heat transducers that allow for an efficient localized transfer of heat from a focused infrared laser beam to a submicrometer region within a microparticle. Read More

We present the results of Gaussian-based ground-state and excited-state equation-of-motion coupled-cluster theory with single and double excitations for three-dimensional solids. We focus on diamond and silicon, which are paradigmatic covalent semiconductors. In addition to ground-state properties (the lattice constant, bulk modulus, and cohesive energy), we compute the quasiparticle band structure and band gap. Read More

Electric-field noise from the surfaces of ion-trap electrodes couples to the ion's charge causing heating of the ion's motional modes. This heating limits the fidelity of quantum gates implemented in quantum information processing experiments. The exact mechanism that gives rise to electric-field noise from surfaces is not well-understood and remains an active area of research. Read More

Extreme nanowires (ENs) represent the ultimate class of crystalline materials: They are the smallest possible periodic materials. With atom-wide motifs repeated in 1D, they offer a unique perspective into the Physics and Chemistry of low-dimensional systems. Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) provide ideal environments for the creation of such materials. Read More

Many complex oxides (including titanates, nickelates and cuprates) show a regime in which resistivity follows a power law in temperature ($\rho\propto T^2$). By analogy to a similar phenomenon observed in some metals at low temperature, this has often been attributed to electron-electron (Baber) scattering. We show that Baber scattering results in a $T^2$ power law only under several crucial assumptions which may not hold for complex oxides. Read More

Zirconium pentatelluride ZrTe$_5$, a fascinating topological material platform, hosts exotic chiral fermions in its highly anisotropic three-dimensional Dirac band and holds great promise advancing the next-generation information technology. However, the origin underlying its anomalous resistivity peak has been under debate for decades. Here we provide transport evidence substantiating the anomaly to be a direct manifestation of a Lifshitz transition in the Dirac band with an ultrahigh carrier mobility exceeding 3$\times$10$^5$ cm$^2$ V$^{-1}$ s$^{-1}$. Read More