NUM division - Featured Research
A compass pointing West
Researchers at PSI have discovered a new phenomenon of magnetism with the help of the Swiss Light Source SLS. Certain groups of atoms behave like a compass pointing West. This could make computers much more powerful.
Charges enter the ice age
Scattering experiments establish the partly disordered material CsNiCrF6 as the first verified example of a charge ice — and show that it supports Coulomb phases with correlations in three different degrees of freedom.
Making the impossible possible
Use of multiferroic materials promises more energy-efficient computers because in these, an electric field would suffice to achieve magnetic data storage. Researchers at PSI have now made such a material suitable for computer operating temperatures.
Finite-temperature critical points and quantum critical end point in a 2D magnet
The Mermin–Wagner theorem has long told us that in two dimensions a continuous symmetry can be broken, allowing a finite order parameter, only at zero temperature. Now PSI theorist Bruce Normand, working with colleagues in Aachen, Amsterdam, Lausanne and Paris, has circumvented this rule. The team was considering the thermodynamics
Quantum magnets under pressure
The demonstration that applied pressure can substantially change – rather than merely tweak – the properties of a metal–organic quantum magnet indicates a route to designing quantum materials with tailored properties.
Multiferroics turned upside down
Experiments demonstrating the inversion of entire domain patterns in multiferroic crystals highlight just how versatile this class of materials is, and indicate a route to exploring novel functionalities.
Imaging the inside of injection needles with neutrons
Researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, the University of Basel and Roche have used neutron imaging to investigate why cool storage is crucial for syringes pre-filled with a liquid medication.
A theory for the gapless field-induced quantum spin-liquid phase of α−RuCl3
The material α−RuCl3 continues to garner attention as the current poster child for realising the Kitaev model. New work places recent experimental observations on a solid theoretical footing, and concludes that the physics of α−RuCl3 is not dominated by Kitaev interactions.