Scientific Highlights from Research Division
Research with Neutrons and Muons (NUM)
Magnetic skyrmions are topological solitons with a nanoscale winding spin texture that hold promise for spintronics applications. Skyrmions have so far been observed in a variety of magnets that exhibit nearly parallel alignment for neighbouring spins, but theoretically skyrmions with anti-parallel neighbouring spins are also possible. Such antiferromagnetic skyrmions may allow more flexible control than conventional ferromagnetic skyrmions. Here, by combining neutron scattering measurements and Monte Carlo simulations, we show that a fractional antiferromagnetic skyrmion lattice is stabilized in MnSc2S4 through anisotropic couplings.
One-pot neutron imaging of surface phenomena, swelling and diffusion during methane absorption in ethanol and n-decane under high pressure
We study the gas diffusion in still liquids under gas high pressures. We demonstrate that the pressure-induced gas diffusion, liquid swelling and the liquid surface tension can be measured simultaneously in a one-pot experiment. The measurements are performed using the high-resolution neutron imaging in a non-tactile way. A major advantage of this new method is that the determination of surface tension necessitate no assumptions imposed on the properties of the liquid.
Quantum states induced by single-atomic impurities are at the frontier of physics and material science. While such states have been reported in high-temperature superconductors and dilute magnetic semiconductors, they are unexplored in topological magnets which can feature spin-orbit tunability. Here we use spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy/ spectroscopy (STM/S) to study the engineered quantum impurity in a topological magnet Co3Sn2S2. We find that each substituted In impurity introduces a striking localized bound state.
Using Uniaxial Stress to Probe the Relationship between Competing Superconducting States in a Cuprate with Spin-stripe Order
We report muon spin rotation and magnetic susceptibility experiments on in-plane stress effects on the static spin-stripe order and superconductivity in the cuprate system La2−xBaxCuO4 with x = 0.115. An extremely low uniaxial stress of ∼0.1 GPa induces a substantial decrease in the magnetic volume fraction and a dramatic rise in the onset of 3D superconductivity, from ∼10 to 32 K.
Recently, discrepancies of up to 4σ between the different determinations of the Cabibbo angle were observed. In this context, we point out that this “Cabibbo-angle anomaly” can be explained by lepton flavor universality violating new physics in the neutrino sector. However, modified neutrino couplings to standard model gauge bosons also affect many other observables sensitive to lepton flavor universality violation, which have to be taken into account in order to assess the viability of this explanation.
Here we investigate antiferromagnetic Eu5In2Sb6, a nonsymmorphic Zintl phase. Our electrical transport data show that Eu5In2Sb6 is remarkably insulating and exhibits an exceptionally large negative magnetoresistance, which is consistent with the presence of magnetic polarons. From ab initio calculations, the paramagnetic state of Eu5In2Sb6 is a topologically nontrivial semimetal within the generalized gradient approximation (GGA), whereas an insulating state with trivial topological indices is obtained using a modified Becke−Johnson potential.
We use scanning tunneling microscopy to elucidate the atomically resolved electronic structure in the strongly correlated kagome Weyl antiferromagnet Mn3Sn. In stark contrast to its broad single-particle electronic structure, we observe a pronounced resonance with a Fano line shape at the Fermi level resembling the many-body Kondo resonance. We find that this resonance does not arise from the step edges or atomic impurities but the intrinsic kagome lattice.
Handedness-dependent quasiparticle interference in the two enantiomers of the topological chiral semimetal PdGa
It has recently been proposed that combining chirality with topological band theory results in a totally new class of fermions. Understanding how these unconventional quasiparticles propagate and interact remains largely unexplored so far. Here, we use scanning tunneling microscopy to visualize the electronic properties of the prototypical chiral topological semimetal PdGa.
At an interface between a topological insulator (TI) and a conventional superconductor (SC), superconductivity has been predicted to change dramatically and exhibit novel correlations. In particular, the induced superconductivity by an s-wave SC in a TI can develop an order parameter with a p-wave component. Here we present experimental evidence for an unexpected proximity-induced novel super- conducting state in a thin layer of the prototypical TI, Bi2Se3 proximity coupled to Nb.
Noncollinear magnetic order arises for various reasons in several magnetic systems and exhibits interesting spin dynamics. Despite its ubiquitous presence, little is known of how magnons, otherwise stable quasiparticles, decay in these systems, particularly in metallic magnets. Using inelastic neutron scattering, we examine the magnetic excitation spectra in a metallic noncollinear antiferromagnet CrB2, in which Cr atoms form a triangular lattice and display incommensurate magnetic order. Our data show intrinsic magnon damping ...
Macroscopic manifestation of domain-wall magnetism and magnetoelectric effect in a Néel-type skyrmion host
We report a magnetic state in GaV4Se8 which emerges exclusively in samples with mesoscale polar domains and not in polar mono- domain crystals. It is manifested by a sharp anomaly in the magnetic susceptibility and the magnetic torque, distinct from other anomalies observed also in polar mono-domain samples upon transitions between the cycloidal, the Néel-type skyrmion lattice and the ferromagnetic states.
We have used neutron spectroscopy to investigate the spin dynamics of the quantum (S=1/2) antiferromagnetic Ising chains in RbCoCl3. The structure and magnetic interactions in this material conspire to produce two magnetic phase transitions at low temperatures, presenting an ideal opportunity for thermal control of the chain environment. The high-resolution spectra we measure ...
Phase boundary dynamics of bubble flow in a thick liquid metal layer under an applied magnetic field
We investigate argon bubble flow in liquid gallium within a container large enough to avoid wall effects. Flow with and without applied horizontal magnetic field is studied. We demonstrate the successful capture and quantification of the effects of applied magnetic field using dynamic neutron radiography and the previously developed and validated robust image processing pipeline, supported by the in silico reproduction of our experiment.
Z3-vestigial nematic order due to superconducting fluctuations in the doped topological insulators NbxBi2Se3 and CuxBi2Se3
A state of matter with a multi-component order parameter can give rise to vestigial order. In the vestigial phase, the primary order is only partially melted, leaving a remaining symmetry breaking behind, an effect driven by strong classical or quantum fluctuations. Vestigial states due to primary spin and charge-density-wave order have been discussed in iron-based and cuprate materials. Here we present the observation of a partially melted superconductivity in which pairing fluctuations condense at a separate phase transition and form a nematic state with broken Z3, i.e., three-state Potts-model symmetry.
Simultaneous Nodal Superconductivity and Time-Reversal Symmetry Breaking in the Noncentrosymmetric Superconductor CaPtAs
By employing a series of experimental techniques, we provide clear evidence that CaPtAs represents a rare example of a noncentrosymmetric superconductor which simultaneously exhibits nodes in the superconducting gap and broken time-reversal symmetry (TRS) in its superconducting state (belowTc ≈ 1.5 K). Unlike in fully gapped superconductors, the magnetic penetration depth λ(T) does not saturate at low temperatures, but instead it shows a T2 dependence, characteristic of gap nodes.
In general, magnetism and superconductivity are antagonistic to each other. However, there are several families of superconductors in which superconductivity coexists with magnetism, and a few examples are known where the superconductivity itself induces spontaneous magnetism. The best known of these compounds are Sr2RuO4 and some non-centrosymmetric superconductors. Here, we report the finding of ...
The ancient purple pigment used to paint the terracotta warriors, BaCuSi2O6, is also a quantum magnetic material which consists of stacked Cu2+ bilayers hosting spin dimers. Magnetometry and NMR experiments have revealed puzzling critical phenomena at the quantum phase transition (QPT) caused by an applied magnetic field, which suggest that the universal behaviour of the system is not three- but only two-dimensional. By performing high-resolution neutron spectroscopy measurements .....
Results are reported for the B0s → μ+μ− branching fraction and effective lifetime and from a search for the decay B0 → μ+μ−. The analysis uses a data sample of proton-proton collisions accumulated by the CMS experiment in 2011, 2012, and 2016, with center-of-mass energies (integrated luminosities) of 7TeV (5fb−1), 8TeV (20fb−1),and 13TeV (36fb−1).
LaTiOxNy oxynitride thin films are employed to study the surface modifications at the solid- liquid interface that occur during photoelectrocatalytic water splitting. Neutron reflectometry and grazing incidence x-ray absorption spectroscopy were utilised to distinguish between the surface and bulk signals, with a surface sensitivity of 3 nm.
Elucidating the role of different degrees of freedom in a phase transition is crucial in the comprehension of complex materi- als. A phase transformation that attracts significant interest is the insulator-to-metal transition of Mott insulators, in which the electrons are thought to play the dominant role. Here, we use ultrafast laser spectroscopy and theoretical calculations ....