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Moiré effect: How to twist material properties

2D materials have triggered a boom in materials research. Now it turns out that exciting effects occur when two such layered materials are stacked and slightly twisted

24-Mar-2021

The discovery of the material graphene, which consists of only one layer of carbon atoms, was the starting signal for a global race: Today, so-called "2D materials" are produced, made of different types of atoms. Atomically thin layers that often have very special material properties not found in ...

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How do good metals go bad?

New measurements have solved a mystery in solid state physics: How is it that certain metals do not seem to adhere to the valid rules?

16-Mar-2021

We all have a clear picture in mind when we think of metals: We think of solid, unbreakable objects that conduct electricity and exhibit a typical metallic sheen. The behaviour of classical metals, for example their electrical conductivity, can be explained with well-known, well-tested physical ...

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Magnetic effect without a magnet

Surprise in solid-state physics: The Hall effect, which normally requires magnetic fields, can also be generated in a completely different way – with extreme strength

23-Feb-2021

Electric current is deflected by a magnetic field – in conducting materials this leads to the so-called Hall effect. This effect is often used to measure magnetic fields. A surprising discovery has now been made at TU Wien, in collaboration with scientists from the Paul Scherrer Institute ...

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Two-phase material with surprising properties

10-Feb-2021

Microstructure and macroscopic electro-mechanical properties are closely coupled in so-called ferroelectric polymers. An explanation for the high temperature dependence of this coupling has now been found at TU Wien. In certain materials, electrical and mechanical effects are closely linked: for ...

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Optimal information about the invisible

How do you measure objects that you can't see under normal circumstances?

27-Jan-2021

Laser beams can be used to precisely measure an object’s position or velocity. Normally, however, a clear, unobstructed view of this object is required – and this prerequisite is not always satisfied. In biomedicine, for example, structures are examined, which are embedded in an irregular, ...

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Single atoms as a catalyst: Surprising effects ensue

For years, the metal nanoparticles used in catalysts have been getting smaller and smaller. Now, a research team have shown that everything is suddenly different when you arrive at the smallest possible size: a single atom

26-Jan-2021

Metals such as gold or platinum are often used as catalysts. In the catalytic converters of vehicles, for example, platinum nanoparticles convert poisonous carbon monoxide into non-toxic CO2. Because platinum and other catalytically active metals are expensive and rare, the nanoparticles involved ...

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Why do metal oxide surfaces behave differently?

New research method answers important questions

15-Jan-2021

Metal surfaces play a role as catalysts for many important applications - from fuel cells to the purification of car exhaust gases. However, their behaviour is decisively affected by oxygen atoms incorporated into the surface. This phenomenon has been known for a long time, but until now it has ...

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Scrambled supersolids

Surprisingly reversible

08-Jan-2021

Supersolids are fluid and solid at the same time. Physicists from Innsbruck and Geneva have for the first time investigated what happens when such a state is brought out of balance. They discovered a soft form of a solid of high interest for science. As the researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino ...

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When less is more: a single layer of atoms boosts the nonlinear generation of light

Structures built around a single layer of graphene allow for strong optical nonlinearities

16-Dec-2020

A wide array of technologies, ranging from lasers and optical telecommunication to quantum computing rely on nonlinear optical interaction. Typically, these nonlinear interactions, which allow a beam of light, for example, to change its frequency, are implemented by bulk materials. In a new study ...

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Stable Catalysts for New Energy

Crucial new technologies such as hydrogen production or carbon capture require new catalysts. Experiments show: It's not just the material that matters, but also its atomic surface structure

26-Nov-2020

On the way to a CO2-neutral economy, we need to perfect a whole range of technologies - including the electrochemical extraction of hydrogen from water, fuel cells, or carbon capture. All these technologies have one thing in common: they only work if suitable catalysts are used. For many years, ...

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