Tuning Magnetic Frustration in a Dipolar Trident Lattice (2/21/2018) - Researchers designed and fabricated a nanomagnet array in which competing ("frustrated") magnetic interactions can be directly tuned. Frustrated interactions are key to a wide range of phenomena, from protein folding and magnetic memory to fundamental studies of emergent exotic states.
The Microstructure of a Parrotfish Tooth Contributes to Its Toughness (2/8/2018) - Parrotfish chew on coral, producing hundreds of pounds of sand each year. Mapping the microstructure of parrotfish teeth, scientists found bundles of crystals interwoven like chain mail. The results provide a blueprint for creating ultra-durable materials for mechanical components that undergo repetitive contact, movement, and abrasion.
Modified Antibody Clarifies Tumor-Killing Mechanisms (1/26/2018) - An antibody was modified to activate a specific pathway of the immune system, demonstrating its value in killing tumor cells. The work provides a platform for disentangling different immune-system pathways and could lead to the design of improved immunotherapies.
Genentech Advances Research Toward Better Medicines to Lower Cholesterol (1/25/2018) - Genentech has been working in collaboration with the ALS for years with the goal of identifying a better cholesterol treatment mechanism that targets a cholesterol-regulating protein in the body known as PCSK9. Recent advances in understanding PCSK9's structure have put them closer to that goal.
Fuel from the Sun: Insight into Electrode Performance (1/23/2018) - The mechanisms limiting the performance of hematite electrodes—potentially key components in producing fuel from the sun—have been clarified in interface-specific studies under realistic operating conditions, bringing us a step closer to storing solar energy in chemical fuels.
A Path to a Game-Changing Battery Electrode (1/16/2018) - If you add more lithium to the positive electrode of a lithium-ion battery, it can store much more charge in the same amount of space, theoretically powering an electric car 30 to 50 percent farther between charges. But these lithium-rich cathodes quickly lose voltage, and years of research have not been able to pin down ... Read more »
Ferromagnetism Emerges to Alleviate Polar Mismatch (12/14/2017) - A polar mismatch between nonferromagnetic materials drives an electronic reconstruction in which interfacial ferromagnetism is induced. The emergence of such functionality at interfaces could enable new types of electronics for a range of applications, including logic, memory, sensing, and more.
Studying Gas Mask Filters So People Can Breathe Easier (12/7/2017) - Scientists have put the x-ray spotlight on composite materials in respirators used by the military, police, and first responders. The results provide reassuring news about the effectiveness of current filters and provide fundamental information that could lead to more advanced gas masks as well as protective gear for civilian applications.
A New Way to Tune Emergent Magnetism (12/4/2017) - Perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA)—where magnetic moments in a thin film preferentially point out of the plane of the film—is an emergent phenomenon of both fundamental and technological interest. A combination of x-ray techniques demonstrate how to tune PMA in transition-metal oxide multilayers.
Revealing the Blue Phase and Other Twisted Orders (12/1/2017) - Resonant soft x-ray scattering revealed liquid crystal structures that cannot be probed using diffraction, including chiral liquid crystal systems such as the "blue phase" and the twist-bend nematic phase. Information on how individual molecules form functional structures in these systems is key to developing new applications.