Press Releases

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Typically when referring to electrical current, an image of electrons moving through a metallic wire is conjured. Using the spin Seebeck effect (SSE), it is possible to create a current of pure spin (a quantum property of electrons related to its magnetic moment) in magnetic insulators. However, this work demonstrates that the SSE is not limited to magnetic insulators but also occurs in a class of materials known as paramagnets. Since magnetic moments within paramagnets do not interact with each other like in conventional ferromagnets, and thus do not hold their magnetization when an external magnetic field is removed, this discovery is unexpected and challenges current theories for the SSE. New ways of generating spin currents may be important for low-power high-speed spin based computing (spintronics), and is also an area of great fundamental interest. The paramagnetic SSE changes the way we think about thermally driven spintronics, allowing for the creation of new devices and architectures where spin currents are generated without ferromagnetic materials, which have been the centerpiece of all spin-based electronic devices up until this point. (Click image to view larger.)
Young scientist discovers magnetic material unnecessary to create spin current

Research at Argonne indicates that you don't need a magnetic material to create spin current from insulators—with important implications for the field of spintronics and the development of high-speed, low-power electronics that use electron spin rather than charge to carry information.

July 23, 2015
This graphic shows the semi-cubic structure of perovskite materials, and how they would fit into a solar power device. An Argonne-Northwestern study found that perovskite-based solar technology has the quickest energy payback time of all current solar technologies. Image by Seth Darling. (Click image to view larger.)
Perovskite solar technology shows quick energy returns

Silicon-based solar panels, which dominate the market for solar power, usually need about two years to “pay back” the energy used to make them. But for technology made with perovskites—a class of materials causing quite a buzz in the solar research community—the energy payback time is only two to three months.

July 17, 2015
Supratik Guha has been named the next director of the Nanoscience and Technology Division at Argonne National Laboratory, as well as director of Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials. (Click image to view larger.)
Supratik Guha to direct nanoscience and technology at Argonne National Laboratory

Supratik Guha has been named the next director of the Nanoscience and Technology Division at Argonne National Laboratory, as well as director of Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials.

June 18, 2015
From left to right: Argonne researchers Wanjun Jiang, Suzanne G.E. te Velthuis, and Axel Hoffman published a new way to make magnetic skyrmion bubbles at room temperature. Photo by Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory. (Click image to view larger.)
Argonne scientists announce first room-temperature magnetic skyrmion bubbles

Researchers at UCLA and Argonne announced today a new method for creating magnetic skyrmion bubbles at room temperature. The bubbles, a physics phenomenon thought to be an option for more energy-efficient and compact electronics, can be created with simple equipment and common materials.

June 12, 2015
From left, researchers Ani Sumant, Ali Erdemir, Subramanian Sankaranarayanan, Sanket Deshmukh, and Diana Berman combined diamond, graphene, and carbon to achieve superlubricity. (Click image to view larger.)
Slip sliding away: Graphene and diamonds prove a slippery combination

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory have found a way to use tiny diamonds and graphene to give friction the slip, creating a new material combination that demonstrates the rare phenomenon of “superlubricity.”

May 22, 2015
Scientists at Argonne have created a new way of manipulating high-intensity X-rays, which will allow researchers to select extremely brief but precise X-ray bursts for their experiments.  This schematic of their microelectromechanical device consisting of a small oscillating mirror illustrates the reflection of an incoming X-ray at a particular critical angle. Image courtesy Daniel Lopez. (Click photo to view larger.)
Scientists tune X-rays with tiny mirrors

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have created a new way of manipulating high-intensity X-rays, which will allow researchers to select extremely brief but precise X-ray bursts for their experiments.

May 5, 2015
This picture combines a transmission electron microscope image of a nanodumbbell with a gold domain oriented in  direction. The seed and gold domains in the dumbbell in the image on the right are identified by geometric phase analysis. Image credit: Soon Gu Kwon. (Click image to enlarge)
Atomic 'mismatch' creates nano 'dumbbells'

Thanks to a new study from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, researchers are closer to understanding the process by which nanoparticles made of more than one material – called heterostructured nanoparticles – form.

December 4, 2014
The synchrotron X-ray scanning tunneling microscopy concept allowed Argonne National Laboratory and Ohio University researchers to achieve a recording-breaking resolution of a nanoscale material. They combined of a synchrotron X-ray as a probe and a nanofabricated smart tip as a detector to fingerprint individual nickel clusters on a copper surface at a two-nanometer resolution and at the ultimate single-atomic height sensitivity. And by varying the photon energy, researchers successfully measured photoionization cross sections of a single nickel nanocluster – opening the door to new opportunities for chemical imaging of nanoscale materials. (Click image to enlarge)
Powerful new technique simultaneously determines nanomaterials' chemical makeup, topography

A team of researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Ohio University have devised a powerful technique that simultaneously resolves the chemical characterization and topography of nanoscale materials down to the height of a single atom.

December 2, 2014
This wafer of nanocrystalline diamond provides one example of the technology that AKHAN Semiconductor has licensed from Argonne. Photo courtesy of Ani Sumant. (Click image to enlarge)
Argonne announces new licensing agreement with AKHAN Semiconductor

Argonne has announced a new intellectual property licensing agreement with AKHAN Semiconductor, continuing a productive public-private partnership that will bring diamond-based semiconductor technologies to market.

November 19, 2014
The surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensor detects frequency changes in waves that propagate through its crystalline structure. This makes it ideal for detecting the presence of chemicals or biomarkers present in a liquid or gas. For example, it can detect cancer proteins attached to a receptor on the sensor surface. Image credit: Shutterstock. (Click image to enlarge)
Researchers develop new acoustic sensor for chemical and biological detection

A new microscopic acoustic device that has been dramatically improved by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory has the potential to form a new test for ovarian cancer or the presence of a particular chemical.

November 17, 2014