Rich Nature of Van Hove singularities in Kagome superconductor CsV3Sb5

Rich Nature of Van Hove singularities in Kagome superconductor CsV3Sb5

By Yong Hu, Ming Shi, PSI Based on article published in Nature Communications Transition-metal based kagome materials, hosting corner-sharing triangles, offer an exciting platform to explore intriguing correlated and topological phenomena, including quantum spin liquid, unconventional superconductivity, Dirac/Weyl semimetals and charge density wave (CDW) order. Their emergence originates from the inherent features of the kagome…

RefFIT winner of the Venture startup competition

RefFIT winner of the Venture startup competition

RefFIT is one of the three winners of the Venture startup competition of 2022 in the ICT category. RefFit delivers disruptive software for the material industry to efficiently analyze spectroscopy data. RefFIT was started as an academic project at the DQMP, University of Geneva in 2003 by Dr. Alexey Kuzmenko. It is designed for the…

Innovative cutting tools for high-tech alloys

Innovative cutting tools for high-tech alloys

The Department of Quantum Matter Physics (DQMP), UNIGE has just been awarded a major INNOSUISSE grant for an initiative launched with the Geneva-based company Eskenazi SA, a leader in the manufacture of cutting tools for microtechnology. Founded in 1916 by Marcel Eskenazi, this company is distinguished by its global mastery of cutting tool manufacturing technology,…

A new electrolyte for greener and safer batteries

A new electrolyte for greener and safer batteries

A UNIGE team has developed a new material that improves the performance of solid-state sodium batteries, a less dangerous and more durable alternative to lithium. The future of battery technologies lies in sodium. More sustainable than lithium – which currently powers most of our devices and vehicles – sodium is also abundant on the earth’s surface.…

Driving ferroelectric domain walls towards greater roughness

Driving ferroelectric domain walls towards greater roughness

Ferroelectric domain walls show thermally activated creep and progressively roughen when driven from the edges of planar electrodes, potentially limiting racetrack memory applications in thin films. This research is published in Applied Physics Letters. Domain walls are nanoscale boundaries separating regions with different orientation of polarisation in ferroelectric materials. They can present novel physical properties…

Many-body physics with quantum gases in high-finesse cavities

Many-body physics with quantum gases in high-finesse cavities

By Jean-Philippe Brantut, EPFL and Tilman Esslinger, ETHZ Cavity Quantum Electro-Dynamics (QED) has been one of the most successful platforms for the study of fundamental processes in quantum physics. It allows for the investigation of light-matter interactions including a detailed understanding of dissipation channels. In this article we would like to give a brief introduction to…

New perspectives in the physics of electronic orders

New perspectives in the physics of electronic orders

The charge density wave order is a fascinating electronic phase that appears in some metallic crystals below a critical temperature. It combines a periodic distortion of the atomic lattice and a redistribution of the electronic charge to a standing-wave arrangement. These modulations form new periodicities that modify the symmetries of the host material, with important…

d-Wave vortex core

d-Wave vortex core

Magnetic vortices in superconductors are singular objects at the center of which the superconducting Cooper pairs are locally destroyed. As a consequence, the electronic excitations in their cores are expected to be fundamentally different from the ones occurring in the electronic superfluid surrounding the vortices. Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) is the ideal tool to study…

A physics perspective on wound healing

A physics perspective on wound healing

Scientists from UNIGE and UZH have used a statistical physics approach to identify the lengthscales of key intercellular interactions which govern tissue healing.   In material physics understanding how systems interact across the interfaces separating them is of central interest. But can physical models clarify similar concepts in living systems, such as cells? Physicists at…

Ferroelectric nanodomains shed light on universal systems

Ferroelectric nanodomains shed light on universal systems

Earthquakes and avalanches may have devastating consequences, yet are hard to study, occurring only occasionally and often in poorly monitored regions. Fortunately, simpler systems with similar properties can sometimes be investigated efficiently and safely in the laboratory to yield generally applicable results in a phenomenon called universality. New research at the DQMP, University of Geneva…

Nano-mapping phase transitions in electronic materials

Nano-mapping phase transitions in electronic materials

Scientists at EPFL and the University of Geneva have combined two powerful, cutting-edge techniques to uncover the physics behind an exotic phase transition that turns a metal into an insulator. The materials they looked at are rare-earth nickelates, which are of great interest for innovating new approaches in electronics. “Phase transitions” are a central phenomenon…

Record high-field superconductivity in MgB2: new perspectives for magnet technology

Record high-field superconductivity in MgB2: new perspectives for magnet technology

The quest for energy-efficient high-field magnets passes through the progress made on practical superconductors. Scientists from the Department of Quantum Matter Physics (UNIGE), the Laboratory of Advanced Technology – LTA (UNIGE, HES-SO Genève), and the Laboratoire des Champs Magnétiques Intenses of Grenoble (F) have recently shed light on the mechanisms that enhance the upper critical…

Fractional antiferromagnetic skyrmion lattice induced by anisotropic couplings

Fractional antiferromagnetic skyrmion lattice induced by anisotropic couplings

By Oksana Zaharko, Paul Scherrer Institute Based on article published in Nature Magnetic skyrmions, swirling configurations with topological properties, typically exhibit nearly parallel alignment for neighbouring spins. Such particles with antiparallel near spins can be more easily controlled and are interesting for spintronic applications. By combining neutron scattering experiments with extensive Monto Carlo simulations we identify…

Making disorder for an ideal battery

Making disorder for an ideal battery

Manufacturing safer, more powerful batteries that use geopolitically stable resources requires solid electrolytes and replacing lithium with sodium. A chemical solution is now being offered to battery developers. The lithium batteries that power our electronic devices and electric vehicles have a number of drawbacks. The electrolyte – the medium that enables electrons and positive charges to…

Superconductivity with a twist explained

Superconductivity with a twist explained

Physicists have revealed what makes magic angle graphene so special. This is a key step elucidating the mystery behind superconductivity in this recently discovered material with potential for technological breakthroughs. Magic-angle materials represent a surprising recent physics discovery in double layers of graphene, the two-dimensional material made of carbon atoms in a hexagonal pattern. When…

Artificial materials for more efficient electronics

Artificial materials for more efficient electronics

The discovery of an unprecedented physical effect in a new artificial material marks a significant milestone in the lengthy process of developing “made-to-order” materials and more energy-efficient electronics. We are surrounded by electronic devices. Transistors are used to power telephones, computers, televisions, hi-fi systems and game consoles as well as cars, airplanes and the like.…

A breach in the “standard model” of quantum matter

A breach in the “standard model” of quantum matter

Professor Dirk van der Marel’s team from the Department of Quantum Matter Physics (DQMP) of Geneva University recently discovered a whole new effect in a magnetic material with a chemical composition of Nd2Ir2O7. At absolute zero (-273.15 degrees Celsius), this material is insulating but by increasing its temperature it becomes an electrical conductor. More precisely,…

What can quantum many-body physics and optics bring to virology?

What can quantum many-body physics and optics bring to virology?

By Prof. Gabriel Aeppli, ETHZ, EPFL and PSI Among the most important problems illuminated by the current COVID-19 pandemic are those of producing and measuring the immune response to the corona virus. The immune response defines the progression and lethality of the disease in an infected individual, while the idea of promoting such a response through…

Crystallography helps to combat the SARS-CoV-2 virus

Crystallography helps to combat the SARS-CoV-2 virus

The crystal structure of a drug tested against Covid-19 was solved using Fox computer program, developed in the Laboratory of crystallography at the Department of quantum matter physics (DQMP), UNIGE. Recently, James Kaduk (Illinois Institute of Technology and North Central College) and collaborators Amy Gindhart and Thomas Blanton (International Centre for Diffraction Data, ICDD) have…

Matteo Alessandrini’s group, Bruker BioSpin and Prof. Carmine Senatore’s group, DQMP awarded financial support by Innosuisse

Matteo Alessandrini’s group, Bruker BioSpin and Prof. Carmine Senatore’s group, DQMP awarded financial support by Innosuisse

Matteo Alessandrini’s group at Bruker BioSpin and Prof. Senatore’s group at DQMP, University of Geneva have been recently awarded financial support by Innosuisse for a 3 years project. The project will start in September 2020. The title of the project is “HTS superconducting joints for NMR magnets”. This project aims to develop superconducting HTS joints made for application…

Low-energy excitations in type-II Weyl semimetal Td-MoTe2 evidenced through optical conductivity

Low-energy excitations in type-II Weyl semimetal Td-MoTe2 evidenced through optical conductivity

By Ana Akrap, Université de Fribourg Based on article published in Physical Review Materials Transition metal dichalcogenides are a rich and diverse family of compounds. In both bulk and few-layer form, transition metal dichalcogenides are intensely studied for many of their interesting properties: excitons, superconductivity, and band-gap tuning by thickness. They are also pursued for their potential…

Simultaneous nodal superconductivity and time-reversal symmetry breaking in the noncentrosymmetric superconductor CaPtAs

Simultaneous nodal superconductivity and time-reversal symmetry breaking in the noncentrosymmetric superconductor CaPtAs

By Tian Shang, Paul Scherrer Institut Based on article published in Physical Review Letters The study of unconventional superconductors is of great interest to the physics community. Complex superconducting ground states can form the basis of novel quantum-field theories and have the potential for applications ranging from particle accelerators to quantum computers.  The ongoing interest in…

The LTA, a legacy platform of MaNEP, contributes to the research on the Covid-19

The LTA, a legacy platform of MaNEP, contributes to the research on the Covid-19

To achieve optimal virus detection using surface plasmon resonance (SPR), a leading SPR manufacturer is relying on glass prisms with a high-quality gold thin film sensor custom grown in the LTA laboratory (Fig.1). Basic research provides the basis for subsequent applied research and development. In the same way, instrumentation and expertise tailored for basic research…

Creating custom light using 2D materials

Creating custom light using 2D materials

Researchers from UNIGE and the University of Manchester have discovered structures based on two-dimensional materials that emit tailor-made light in any colour you could wish for. Finding new semi-conductor materials that emit light is essential for developing a wide range of electronic devices. But making artificial structures that emit light tailored to our specific needs…

Unconventional Superconductivity – Forty years of exciting developments

Unconventional Superconductivity – Forty years of exciting developments

By Manfred Sigrist, ETHZ This year in May the 25th anniversary of the discovery of Sr2RuO4 was celebrated with a dedicated workshop at ETH Zurich. Sr2RuO4 has been the second superconductor found in the class of perovskite transition metal oxides after the cuprates and has ever since played an important role in the field of…

Measuring the oxygen positions in an ultra thin film by XRD

Measuring the oxygen positions in an ultra thin film by XRD

By Jennifer Fowlie Based on article published in Nano Letters X-ray diffraction is a ubiquitous tool used in many areas of physical sciences for determining the structure of matter. There are two particular experimental challenges in measuring an x-ray diffraction signal; samples that are of too small a volume and atoms that are of too…

High performance chemical analysis and imaging in Geneva

High performance chemical analysis and imaging in Geneva

    The Laboratory of Advance Technology (LTA) in Geneva has launched a new platform for chemical analysis and imaging. Open to both academics and industry, this platform provides access to a nano-TOF SIMS and an XPS, and is the only lab in Switzerland to provide access to both of these complementary techniques. Together, they…

The LTA is launching a High-Performance Chemical Analysis and Imaging Platform – Seminar on November 14th

The LTA is launching a High-Performance Chemical Analysis and Imaging Platform – Seminar on November 14th

This platform is now open to both academic and industrial laboratories. Discover more at the XPS and TOF-SIMS seminar on November 14th. This platform, unique in Switzerland, combines expertise in molecular identification and surface chemistry with two state-of-the-art systems: a TOF-SIMS mass spectrometer and a scanning XPS microprobe. These two complementary techniques allow sensitive and…

The ARPES/STM lab of UNIFR in ComicScience

The ARPES/STM lab of UNIFR in ComicScience

Some time ago, Christophe Berthod from the University of Geneva met Gilles Bellevaut, who is interested in science and shares his scientific explorations in the form of comic strips. Recently, they visited together the ARPES/STM laboratory of Prof. Philipp Aebi and Prof.Claude Monney from the University of Fribourg. Discover the story of this day in…

On-demand control of terahertz and infrared waves

On-demand control of terahertz and infrared waves

Researchers from the University of Geneva and the University of Manchester have confirmed experimentally the theory of very strong magneto-optical resonance in graphene. The ability to control infrared and terahertz waves using magnetic or electric fields is one of the great challenges in physics that could revolutionise opto-electronics, telecommunications and medical diagnostics. A theory from…

Parental Control of Mott-Insulating La2CuO4

Parental Control of Mott-Insulating La2CuO4

by Johan Chang, University of Zürich based on an article published in Nature Communications Exposed to pressure, the lattice parameters of a material generally shrink. In turn, the electronic nearest neighbour hopping integral t increases, due to larger orbital overlap. In a Mott insulator this enhancement can trigger a bandwidth-controlled insulator-to-metal transition. Indeed, the ratio, U/t, of…

Single crystal growth in Switzerland – a flash back and outlook

Single crystal growth in Switzerland – a flash back and outlook

By Prof. László Forró, EPFL Materials are the linchpin of technological progress. All energy related applications like photovoltaics, fuel cells, thermoelectrics, (harvesting, storing and transmitting) heavily depend on new, more performant materials. Even the success of energy production by nuclear fusion crucially relies on finding compounds that can withstand high doses of irradiation. Information technologies are…

Quantum Magnets under Pressure

Quantum Magnets under Pressure

by Björn Wehinger, UNIGE and PSI based on an article published in Physical Review Letters Quantum magnets have evolved over the past decade into systems of large interest in fundamental and, increasingly, in applied physics. Their exceptional properties, including non-magnetic ground states, fractionalised excitations and topological order, have become candidate resources for quantum information and computing. Application in spintronic…

Ultracold atoms used to verify 1963 prediction about 1D electrons

Ultracold atoms used to verify 1963 prediction about 1D electrons

Physicists from Rice University and the University of Geneva have verified a key prediction from a 55-year-old theory about one-dimensional electronics that is increasingly relevant thanks to Silicon Valley’s inexorable quest for miniaturization. “Chipmakers have been shrinking feature sizes on microchips for decades, and device physicists are now exploring the use of nanowires and nanotubes…

When superconductivity disappears in the core of a quantum tube

When superconductivity disappears in the core of a quantum tube

Predicting the behaviour of electrons in a material is not easily done. Physicists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), ETH Zurich and EPFL replaced the electrons with ultra-cold neutral lithium atoms that they had circulated in a one-dimensional quantum tube. The scientists were then able to confirm an unusual state of matter that retains its…

The complex effect of strain on the structure of perovskite vanadates

The complex effect of strain on the structure of perovskite vanadates

Scilight from AIP Publishing is talking about a recent publication of Hugo Meley and coworkers in APL Materials. Moving from discovering physical properties to the ability to tailor them requires precise understanding and mastery of materials fabrication. This study unveils how the substrate affects the growth of crystalline vanadate thin films and the arrangement of their…

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