Laboratory Condensed Matter (LSC)
in the Photon Science Division
The research focusses on condensed matter and materials science using synchrotron radiation. For this we use the whole range of spectroscopy, imaging and diffraction techniques.
Current Highlights and News
Prof. Helena Van Swygenhoven will give the plenary Kavli lecture at the MRS spring meeting 2019
Plenary Session Featuring The Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Materials Science:
Tuesday, April 23
8:15 am – 9:30 am
PCC North, 100 Level, Ballroom 120 D
Carlos Vaz Selected by the Journal of Materials Chemistry C as Outstanding Reviewer in 2018
SIM beamline scientist Carlos Vaz was recognized as outstanding referee for providing high quality peer review for the Journal of Materials Chemistry C (Royal Society of Chemistry).
Terahertz-driven phonon upconversion in SrTiO3
Direct manipulation of the atomic lattice using intense long-wavelength laser pulses has become a viable approach to create new states of matter in complex materials. Conventionally, a high-frequency vibrational mode is driven resonantly by a mid-infrared laser pulse and the lattice structure is modified through indirect coupling of this infrared-active phonon to other, lower-frequency lattice modulations.
HERCULES school 2019 at SLS
In the week of April 1-5 PSI welcomes 20 PhD students and postdocs taking part in the European HERCULES 2019 school on Neutron and Synchrotron Radiation. They will attend lectures and perform two days of practical courses at several beam lines of the Swiss Light Source.
Ein Kompass, der nach Westen zeigt
Forschende des PSI haben mithilfe der Synchrotron Lichtquelle Schweiz SLS ein neues Phänomen des Magnetismus entdeckt. Dabei verhalten sich bestimmte Atomgruppen wie ein Kompass, der nach Westen zeigt. Damit könnten Computer wesentlich leistungsfähiger werden.
A new twist on a mesmerising story
The Einstein–de Haas effect, first demonstrated more than a century ago, provides an intriguing link between magnetism and rotation in ferromagnetic materials. An international team led by ETH physicist Steven Johnson now established that the effect has also a central role in ultrafast processes that happen at the sub-picosecond timescale — and thus deliver fresh insight into materials that might form the basis for novel devices.
A new spin in nano-electronics
In recent years, electronic data processing has been evolving in one direction only: The industry has downsized its components to the nanometer range. But this process is now reaching its physical limits. Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI) are therefore exploring spin waves or so-called magnons – a promising alternative for transporting information in more compact microchips. Cooperating with international partners, they have successfully generated and controlled extremely short-wavelength spin waves. The physicists achieved this feat by harnessing a natural magnetic phenomenon, as they explain in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
Additive Manufacturing of High Entropy Alloys
Additive manufacturing of high-entropy alloys combines the mechanical properties of this novel family of alloys with the geometrical freedom and complexity required by modern designs. An approach to additive manufacturing of high-entropy alloys has been developed based on 3D extrusion of inks containing a blend of oxide nanopowders (Co3O4 + Cr2O3 + Fe2O3 + NiO), followed by co-reduction to metals, inter-diffusion and sintering to near-full density CoCrFeNi in H2. A complex phase evolution path is observed by in-situ X-ray diffraction in extruded filaments: the oxide phases undergo reduction and the resulting metals inter-diffuse, ultimately forming the desired fcc-CoCrFeNi alloy (see figure). Linked to this phase evolution is a complex micro-structural one, from loosely packed oxide particles to fully-annealed, metallic CoCrFeNi with 99.6 ± 0.1% relative density. CoCrFeNi micro-lattices are created with strut diameters as low as 100 μm and excellent mechanical properties at ambient and cryogenic temperatures.