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NaAs has been discovered to be an effective solvent for RFeAsO (R = rare earth) superconducting compounds and enables the growth of sizeable high quality single crystals by the solution method at ambient pressure. Solution growth is a versatile, rapid technique for growth of single crystals. Much like preparing rock candy, the technique relies on having the right solution that dissolves and then precipitates the compound of interest.
The discovery of graphene — a sheet of carbon only one atom thick — has led to the development of a new generation of high speed transistors. Graphene's unusual characteristics result in ultrafast electrical conduction and ultralow energy loss. This makes it an ideal material for next generation electronic devices, but why does it have such unusual characteristics? Early theories suggested that the electrons in graphene do not interact so they flow more freely.
A quantum leap silently occurred in studies of quantum spin systems that lead to many exciting discoveries and new possible applications towards building quantum computers to develop ultra-precise magnetometers to improve quantum communications across fiber-optics networks. Scientists developed new ways of manipulating quantum systems on very short timescales, before quantum properties are degraded, due to decoherence.
Scientists have observed for the first-time changes in magnetic order that point to an important interplay between rare-earth and iron magnetism in rare-earth iron arsenide superconductors. Magnetism is believed to play a key role in causing superconductivity in this class of high-temperature superconductors. Large single crystals and x-ray and neutron techniques in combination with magnetization and electric transport measurements enabled this discovery.
Researchers have shown that the same atom can have different roles in magnetism, depending on its location in the crystal structure. The complex metallic compound Gd5Ge4 has a crystal structure with three distinct sites for its gadolinium atoms.
Magnetic field is expelled from the bulk of a superconductor and only remains present in a surface layer called London penetration depth, λ. Precision measurements of this quantity provide insight into the structure of the superconducting gap and, ultimately, into the mechanism of superconductivity.