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Magnetic, Superconducting and nearly Semiconducting? How is that Possible?

A material that is magnetic, superconducting and behaves nearly like a semiconducting sounds fairly unusual, and it is. Just such a material, made from potassium, iron and selenium, was recently discovered. It has similar superconducting properties to iron-arsenide-based superconductors. However, it is also nearly semiconducting and, most curious, has a very high (antiferro-)magnetic ordering temperature with large (rather than small) magnetic moments.

Standing Ribbons on Edge Leads to Transparent Triumph

A novel electrode architecture has led to a new way to make transparent electrical contacts. Typical ways of attaching a conductor to a non-metallic material allow you to see the electrode. However, for many applications, like light emitting diode (LED) displays, smart windows and solar cells, transparency to visible light is a requirement that conflicts with electrical conductance. Thinner films are more transparent, but less conductive. The new architecture consists of specially patterned nanoscale-thick metallic ribbons, standing on edge, supported by a polymer matrix.

Defect Detective

An international team of researchers has discovered a new type of defect in an unconventional material known as a quasicrystal. Mysterious nanodomains observed on the surfaces of quasicrystals led to the discovery. Quasicrystals were already known to have a unique defect type, known as a phason flip, which can form at the surface. The new defect type is related, but unlike the phason flip is not restricted to the surface; it bridges the surface and the bulk.


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