Gong, Cheng; Kim, Eun Mi; Wang, Yuan; Lee, Geunsik; Zhang, Xiang(Nature Communications, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019-06-14)[Article]
Materials that are simultaneously ferromagnetic and ferroelectric – multiferroics – promise the control of disparate ferroic orders, leading to technological advances in microwave magnetoelectric applications and next generation of spintronics. Single-phase multiferroics are challenged by the opposite d-orbital occupations imposed by the two ferroics, and heterogeneous nanocomposite multiferroics demand ingredients’ structural compatibility with the resultant multiferroicity exclusively at inter-materials boundaries. Here we propose the two-dimensional heterostructure multiferroics by stacking up atomic layers of ferromagnetic Cr2Ge2Te6 and ferroelectric In2Se3, thereby leading to all-atomic multiferroicity. Through first-principles density functional theory calculations, we find as In2Se3 reverses its polarization, the magnetism of Cr2Ge2Te6 is switched, and correspondingly In2Se3 becomes a switchable magnetic semiconductor due to proximity effect. This unprecedented multiferroic duality (i.e., switchable ferromagnet and switchable magnetic semiconductor) enables both layers for logic applications. Van der Waals heterostructure multiferroics open the door for exploring the low-dimensional magnetoelectric physics and spintronic applications based on artificial superlattices.
his paper reports the influence of dysprosium ion (Dy3+) substitution on the structural and magnetic properties of NiDyxFe2−xO4 (0.0 ≤ x ≤ 0.1) nanoparticles (NPs) prepared using a hydrothermal method. The structure and morphology of the as-synthesized NPs were characterized via X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning and transmission electron microscope (SEM, and TEM) analyses. 57Fe Mössbauer spectra were recorded to determine the Dy3+ content dependent variation in the line width, isomer shift, quadrupole splitting, and hyperfine magnetic fields. Furthermore, the magnetic properties of the prepared NPs were also investigated by zero-field cooled (ZFC) and field cooled (FC) magnetizations and AC susceptibility measurements. The MZFC (T) results showed a blocking temperature (TB). Below TB, the products behave as ferromagnetic (FM) and act superparamagnetic (SPM) above TB. The MFC (T) curves indicated the existence of super-spin glass (SSG) behavior below Ts (spin-glass freezing temperature). The AC susceptibility measurements confirmed the existence of the two transition temperatures (i.e., TB and Ts). Numerous models, e.g., Neel–Arrhenius (N–A), Vogel–Fulcher (V–F), and critical slowing down (CSD), were used to investigate the dynamics of the systems. It was found that the Dy substitution enhanced the magnetic interactions.
Ganigué, Ramon; Naert, Pieter; Candry, Pieter; de Smedt, Jonas; Stevens, Christian V.; Rabaey, Korneel(Bioresource Technology, Elsevier BV, 2019-05-28)[Article]
Valeric acid and its ester derivatives are chemical compounds with a high industrial interest. Here we report a new approach to produce them from crude glycerol, by combining propionic acid fermentation with chain elongation. Propionic acid was produced by Propionibacterium acidipropionici (8.49 ± 1.40 g·L−1). In the subsequent mixed population chain elongation, valeric acid was the dominant product (5.3 ± 0.69 g·L−1) of the chain elongation process. Residual glycerol negatively impacted the selectivity of mixed culture chain elongation towards valeric acid, whereas this was unaffected when Clostridium kluyveri was used as bio-catalyst. Valeric acid could be selectively isolated and upgraded to ethyl valerate by using dodecane as extractant and medium for esterification, whereas shorter-chain carboxylic acids could be recovered by using a 10 wt% solution of trioctylphosphine oxide (TOPO) in dodecane. Overall, our work shows that the combined fermentation, electrochemistry and homogeneous catalysis enables fine chemical production from side streams.
Shahid, Hamza; Alzaher, Hussain(Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering, Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019-05-25)[Article]
A low-voltage and ultra-low power sub-Hertz timer using transistor operating in sub-threshold region is proposed. The sub-Hertz operation is achieved by controlling the amount of currents charging and discharging the timer’s capacitor instead of using large passive components. Pulse width modulation is accomplished by sizing the transistors in charging and discharging control blocks. The timer is working from a single supply voltage of as low as 0.4 V. The circuit is designed in a standard CMOS 150 nm and simulated using Cadence. Simulation results show an oscillation frequency of as low as 0.0217 Hz (a period of 46 s) while using integrable capacitor (100 pF). Its average power consumption for one period is 13.91 pW.
Pedro, Ricardo Pablo; Paulose, Jayson; Souslov, Anton; Dresselhaus, Mildred; Vitelli, Vincenzo(Physical Review Letters, American Physical Society (APS), 2019-03-21)[Article]
Topological quantum and classical materials can exhibit robust properties that are protected against disorder, for example, for noninteracting particles and linear waves. Here, we demonstrate how to construct topologically protected states that arise from the combination of strong interactions and thermal fluctuations inherent to soft materials or miniaturized mechanical structures. Specifically, we consider fluctuating lines under tension (e.g., polymer or vortex lines), subject to a class of spatially modulated substrate potentials. At equilibrium, the lines acquire a collective tilt proportional to an integer topological invariant called the Chern number. This quantized tilt is robust against substrate disorder, as verified by classical Langevin dynamics simulations. This robustness arises because excitations in this system of thermally fluctuating lines are gapped by virtue of interline interactions. We establish the topological underpinning of this pattern via a mapping that we develop between the interacting-lines system and a hitherto unexplored generalization of Thouless pumping to imaginary time. Our work points to a new class of classical topological phenomena in which the topological signature manifests itself in a structural property observed at finite temperature rather than a transport measurement.
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