Lead magnesium niobate (PMN) is a prototypical "relaxor" material, used in a wide variety of applications, from ultrasound to sonar. Researchers have now used state-of-the-art microscopy techniques to see exactly how atoms are arranged in PMN - and it's not what anyone expected.
Researchers theoretically proposed the existence of density limit for hole boring by laser light on matter. They derived the maximum plasma density as a function of laser intensity, where hole boring stops and plasma blowout occurs. Theory and simulation of an ultra-high-pressure plasma state, wherein plasma's density pushes light back in the direction of the laser source, contribute to fundamental understanding, and provided grounding for applications such as laser-induced nuclear fusion.
Identifying right-handed and left-handed molecules is a crucial step for many applications in chemistry and pharmaceutics. An international research team (CELIA-CNRS/INRS/ Berlin Max Born Institute /SOLEIL) has now presented a new original and very sensitive method. The researchers use laser pulses of extremely short duration to excite electrons in molecules into twisting motion, the direction of which reveals the molecules' handedness. The research results appear in Nature Physics.
Scientists from CIC nanoGUNE, Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), Materials Physics Center (CFM) and CiQUS (Center for Research on Biological Chemistry and Molecular Materials) create the tiniest magnetic device contacted, made of a single molecule.
Researchers from IOCB Prague and IP CAS demonstrated for the first time a single molecule piezoelectric effect. The study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society represents a breakthrough in understanding the electromechanical behavior of individual molecules and provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale.
University of Tokyo researchers simulated water and silica at low temperature. Despite structural similarities, the two liquids act differently when they are cooled: water freezes into ice, while silica continues to supercool, and eventually forms a glass. This arises from poor symmetry-breaking in silica; although atoms arrange properly in the first shell in both liquids, local rotational symmetry is harder to break in the second shell in silica, because of the less directional Si-O bonds.
Water is so common that we take it for granted. Yet water also has very strange properties compared to most other liquids. In addition to ordinary water and water vapor, or steam, there are at least 17 forms of water ice, and two proposed forms of super-cooled liquid water. New work from Carnegie high-pressure geophysicists finds evidence of the long-theorized, difficult-to-see low-density liquid phase of water.
In a paper published Feb. 9 in Science Advances, scientists at the University of Washington announced that they have successfully combined two different imaging methods -- a type of lens designed for nanoscale interaction with lightwaves, along with robust computational processing -- to create full-color images.
With continual technological advancements in mobile devices and electric cars, the global demand for lithium has quickly outpaced the rate at which it can be mined or recycled, but a University of Texas at Austin professor and his research team may have a solution.
Quantum dots are rapidly taking center stage in emerging applications and research developments, but researchers are still studying how to precisely control the growth of these nanoscale particles and their underlying quantum behavior. For instance, defects form during production of semiconductor materials, so identical dots can differ in composition from one another. To learn more about these defects, a team has demonstrated imaging of an electronically excited quantum dot at multiple orientations.