Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Path For Designing Novel Nanomaterials Discovered

Date:
October 13, 2007
Source:
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Summary:
Scientists have found a novel way to "look" at atomic orbitals, and have directly shown for the first time that they change substantially when interacting at the interface of a ferromagnet and a high-temperature superconductor. This finding opens up a new way of designing nanoscale superconducting materials and fundamentally changes scientific convention, which suggests that only electron spin and atomic charge -- not atomic orbitals -- influence the properties of superconducting nanostructures.

Atomic orbitals, illustrated above, were once thought to be inactive and play no role in the physical properties of materials. But it turns out that these orbitals do change at the interface of certain types of nanostructures, report physicist Jacques Chakhalian and his colleagues in the journal Science.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

A University of Arkansas researcher and his colleagues have found a novel way to “look” at atomic orbitals, and have directly shown for the first time that they change substantially when interacting at the interface of a ferromagnet and a high-temperature superconductor.

Related Articles


This finding opens up a new way of designing nanoscale superconducting materials and fundamentally changes scientific convention, which suggests that only electron spin and atomic charge – not atomic orbitals – influence the properties of superconducting nanostructures. It also has implications for interfaces between other complex oxide materials.

Jacques Chakhalian, assistant professor of physics in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, and his colleagues will publish their findings online at the Science Express Web site, published by the journal Science, Oct. 11.

Until now, materials science researchers believed that an electron’s charge and spin influenced the characteristics of conventional bulk materials. Atomic orbitals, which consist of the patterns of electron density that may be formed in an atom, were previously thought to be inactive.

“In conventional materials like copper or silicon, you could account for everything you could see through charge and spin,” Chakhalian said. Further, orbitals have proved difficult to “see” through physical experimentation, so it wasn’t possible to examine any changes in orbital symmetry that might be taking place at the interface.

Chakhalian’s work has focused on what happens at the interface between two different materials – for instance, superconductors and ferromagnets, two materials with properties that were thought to be incompatible with each other in bulk. In 2006, he and his colleagues created the first high-quality material to have both superconducting and ferromagnetic properties, and they used that material in this experiment.

Chakhalian and his colleagues worked with synchrotron radiation at the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill., to examine the interface between a high-temperature superconducting material containing copper oxide and a ferromagnetic material containing manganese oxide. The synchrotron light is electromagnetic radiation of varying wavelengths that can be tuned to a specific wavelength and polarization for a particular experiment. Unlike conventional X-rays, which diffuse through space, the synchrotron light beams are sharply focused, like a laser beam with extreme brilliance.

The researchers forced the two materials into unusual quantum states. Using a technique called resonant X-ray absorption, they were able to “look” at the atomic orbitals at the interface and determine their symmetry in a non-destructive way.

They found that the atomic orbitals changed the nature of their symmetry at the interface and created a covalent bond between the copper and manganese atoms. This bonding does not exist in the bulk of the individual materials

“When you merge these two materials, the atomic orbitals at the interface become important. They start contributing to the electronic properties of the material,” Chakhalian said. “This opens a new way of designing materials. We can design quantum materials with engineered physical properties.”

The discovery may allow researchers to manipulate nanoscale superconductivity at the interface – opening the possibility of creating room-temperature semiconductors.

Generators that use superconducting materials generate electricity extremely efficiently, at half the size of conventional generators. General Electric estimates the potential market for superconducting generators to be between $20 billion and $30 billion over the next decade.

Chakhalian’s colleagues include J.W. Freeland and M. van Veenendaal of the Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Ill.; and H.-U. Habermeier, G. Cristiani, G. Khaliullin and B. Keimer of the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. "New Path For Designing Novel Nanomaterials Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071012095246.htm>.
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. (2007, October 13). New Path For Designing Novel Nanomaterials Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071012095246.htm
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. "New Path For Designing Novel Nanomaterials Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071012095246.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gas Production Cut on Earthquake Fears

Gas Production Cut on Earthquake Fears

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) The Dutch government has cut production at Europe&apos;s largest gas field in Groningen amid concerns over earthquakes which are damaging local churches. As Amy Pollock reports the decision - largely politically-motivated - could have big economic conseqeunces. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Star Wars-Inspired Prototype Creates Holographic Display

Star Wars-Inspired Prototype Creates Holographic Display

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) A prototype holographic display named Leia - after the Star Wars princess who appeared in holographic form asking Obi-Wan Kenobu for help - is demonstrated at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA and Samsung Launch Embedded Wireless Charging Range

IKEA and Samsung Launch Embedded Wireless Charging Range

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Samsung and IKEA hope their new embedded wireless charging products, launched at Barcelona&apos;s Mobile World Congress, will tempt consumers eager for plugless power. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Samsung Unveils $30,000 'Dream Doghouse'

Samsung Unveils $30,000 'Dream Doghouse'

Buzz60 (Mar. 5, 2015) On display at the Crufts dog show in England, the &apos;dog kennel of the future&apos; comes with features like a doggie treadmill and Samsung tablet. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins