Researchers demonstrate the potential of a new quantum material for creating two spintronic technologies  February 3, 2021 Finding materials with the exact characteristics necessary to fabricate Antiferromagnetic (AFM) spintronics has so far proved to be highly challenging. An international team of researchers (USA – UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, UCLA, Israel) has identified a new quantum material (Fe1/3 + δNbS2) that could be used to fabricate AFM spintronic devices. They demonstrated that antiferromagnetic switching in the intercalated transition-metal dichalcogenide (TMD)-based compounds have a huge ‘exchange bias’, single-pulse saturation and a significantly lower activation energy. They showed that the coexistence of spin glass and antiferromagnetic order allows a […]

Researchers design next-generation photodetector

EurekAlert  February 2, 2021 State-of-the-art LWIR detection technology still suffers from shortcomings such as low photocurrent gain and excess spectral noise. Researchers at Northwestern University used a new approach to design the photodetector using a type-II superlattice, a material system known for its outstanding growth uniformity and exceptional band structure engineering and applied the new material to a heterojunction phototransistor device structure. During testing each part of the photodetector was tuned to use the phototransistor to achieve high optical gain, low noise, and high detectivity. The material’s flexibility allowed for meticulous quantum mechanics-based band structure engineering for the heterostructure design, […]

Researchers from NUS create ‘whirling’ nano-structures in anti-ferromagnets

EurekAlert  February 4, 2021 Special magnetic nano-patterns in anti-ferromagnets that are shaped as whirls or vortices would be quite useful, as they are very stable structures and can potentially be moved along magnetic ‘race tracks’ at speeds of a few kilometres per second. To realize anti-ferromagnetic whirls an international team of researchers (Singapore, UK, USA – University of Wisconsin) combined high-quality film synthesis from materials engineering, phase transitions from physics and topology from mathematics. To grow these materials they fired a laser at iron-oxide. By using ultra-short pulses of laser, they created a hot vapour of atomic particles that formed […]

Terahertz accelerates beyond 5G towards 6G

TechXplore  February 1, 2021 Researchers in Japan configured a two-channel terahertz transmitter (Tx) by modulating the output of a laser pair with wavelengths in the 1.55-micron band, which was set so that the frequency difference was in the 300-GHz band, with an 8K video signal source using an intensity modulator and converting it into terahertz waves using an ultrafast photodiode. After the wirelessly transmitted terahertz waves were detected by sensitive terahertz coherent receivers (Rxs) using resonant tunnel diodes (RTDs) they were split from the two channels into four channels and connected to an 8K monitor via HDMI cable. Using this […]

US Must Unify Atmospheric Biology Research or Risk National Security

Global Biodefence  January 30, 2021 According to a team of researchers in the US (American University, NASA Ames Research Center) due to its interdisciplinary dependencies and broadness of scales from nanometers to kilometers, atmospheric biology research is highly fragmented in the U.S. science community. It lacks shared paradigms and common vocabulary. This deficit calls for recognizing atmospheric biology as a research community, thereby linking human health to climate change. While it makes sense for each department or agency to carry out research relevant to its responsibilities and interests, the lack of coordination and information-sharing can effectively cripple the U.S. response […]

Top 10 Science and Technology Inventions for the Week of January 27, 2021 

01. Optimal information about the invisible 02. Adding or subtracting single quanta of sound 03. “Liquid” machine-learning system adapts to changing conditions 04. Long-distance and secure quantum key distribution (QKD) over a free-space channel 05. Record-breaking laser link could help us test whether Einstein was right 06. Researchers achieve extreme-ultraviolet spectral compression by four-wave mixing 07. Researchers construct molecular nanofibers that are stronger than steel 08. Defects may help scientists understand the exotic physics of topology 09. Rapid Identification of Ricin in Serum Samples Using LC–MS/MS 10. Solar material can ‘self-heal’ imperfections, new research shows And others… Audio long-read: Push, […]

Adding or subtracting single quanta of sound

Science Daily  January 25, 2021 An international team of researchers (UK, Denmark, Australia) injected laser light into a crystalline microresonator that supports both the light and the high-frequency sound waves. The two types of waves coupled to one another via an electromagnetic interaction creates light at a new frequency. To subtract a single phonon, the team detected a single photon that has been up shifted in frequency. Detecting a single photon indicates that a subtracted single phonon. When the experiment is performed at a finite temperature, the sound field has random fluctuations from thermal noise. Counterintuitively, when you subtract a […]

Audio long-read: Push, pull and squeeze – the hidden forces that shape life (podcast)

Nature Podcast  January 28, 2021 Researchers are probing the subtle physical forces that sculpt cells and bodies. At every stage of life, from embryo to adulthood, physical forces tug and squeeze at bodies from within. These forces are vital, ensuring that cells are correctly positioned in a developing embryo. But they also play a role in diseases like cancer. Yet despite their importance, relatively little is known about how cells sense, respond to and generate these forces. To find out, researchers have turned to bespoke tools and methods, using them to probe lab-cultured cells and whole animals to get to […]

Autofocusing of microscopy images using deep learning  January 25, 2021 Autofocusing is a critical step for high-quality microscopic imaging of specimens, especially for measurements that extend over time covering large fields of view. Hardware-based optical autofocusing methods rely on additional distance sensors that are integrated with a microscopy system; Algorithmic autofocusing methods require axial scanning through the sample volume, leading to longer imaging times, which might also introduce phototoxicity and photobleaching on the sample. Researchers at UCLA have demonstrated a deep learning-based offline autofocusing method, termed Deep-R, that is trained to rapidly and blindly autofocus a single-shot microscopy image of a specimen that is acquired at […]

Defects may help scientists understand the exotic physics of topology

Science Daily  January 22, 2021 Researchers at the University of Illinois engineered metamaterials to include defects to show that defects and structural deformations can provide insights into a real material’s hidden topological features. They experimentally demonstrated that disclination defects can robustly trap fractional charges in topological crystalline insulators (TCI) metamaterials, and the trapped charge can indicate non-trivial, higher-order crystalline topology even in the absence of any spectral signatures. They uncovered a connection between the trapped charge and the existence of topological bound states localized at these defects. By testing the robustness of these topological features when the protective crystalline symmetry […]