Photoemission electron microscopy (PEEM) experiments have demonstrated that the circulation direction of a magnetic vortex can be switched by the application of an electric field, opening the door to digital devices with more streamlined system designs, improved performance, and greater energy efficiency. ... Read more »
A powdery mix of metal nanocrystals wrapped in single-layer sheets of carbon atoms shows promise for safely storing hydrogen for use with fuel cells for passenger vehicles and other uses. Now, a new study provides insight into the atomic details of the crystals’ ultrathin coating and how it serves as selective shielding while enhancing their performance in hydrogen storage. ... Read more »
Three distinct crystalline phases with different electronic, magnetic, and optical properties were reversibly induced in a material through the insertion and extraction of ions by an electric field at room temperature. Such multifunctional materials are desirable for many applications, from smart windows to spintronics.
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Researchers have found a new way to control magnetism at the atomic level that will serve as a model for studying emergent phenomena in other systems. The ability to engineer and tune properties on such small length scales can (eventually) enable us to design exciting new magnetic devices. ... Read more »
Vanadyl phosphate can theoretically accept twice the number of lithium ions as battery materials currently in use. In practice, however, it doesn’t live up to expectations. New research at Beamline 6.3.1 using a variety of hard and soft x-ray spectroscopies helps zero in on why. ... Read more »
Toyota has been working at the ALS for a few years now to gain deeper insight into the chemistry of electrolytes for use in magnesium-ion batteries. The hope is that the research eventually leads to a fully developed magnesium-based battery technology that would replace lithium-ion batteries with essentially twice the energy in the same volume. Toyota hopes to move toward this goal more quickly through a new collaborative research project at the ALS and the Molecular Foundry. ... Read more »