New UMD Synthesis Method May Shape Future of Nanostructures, Clean Energy

New UMD Synthesis Method May Shape Future of Nanostructures, Clean Energy

A team of UMD physicists has published new nanoscience advances that they and other scientists say make possible new nanostructures and nanotechnologies with huge potential applications ranging from clean energy and quantum computing advances to new sensor development.

Published in the September 2 issue of Nature Communications, the Maryland scientists' primary discovery is a fundamentally new synthesis strategy for hybrid nanostructures that uses a connector, or "intermedium," nanoparticle to join multiple different nanoparticles into nanostructures that would be very difficult or perhaps even impossible to make with existing methods.

The resultant mix and match modular component approach avoids the limitations in material choice and nanostructure size, shape and symmetry that are inherent in the crystalline growth (epitaxial) synthesis approaches currently used to build nanostructures.

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Sprinkling Spin Physics onto a Superconductor

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Jay Sau, in collaboration with physicists from Harvard and Yale, has been studying the effects of embedding magnetic spins onto the surface of a superconductor. They recently report in paper that was chosen as an "Editor's Suggestion" in Physical Review Letters, that the spins can interact differently than previously thought. This hybrid platform could be useful for quantum simulations of complex spin systems, having the special feature that the interactions may be controllable, something quite unusual for most condensed matter systems.

The textbook quantum system known as a spin can be realized in different physical platforms. Due to advances in fabrication and imaging, magnetic impurities embedded onto a substrate have emerged as an exciting prospect for studying spin physics. Quantum ‘spin’ is related to a particle’s intrinsic angular momentum. What’s neat is that while the concept is fairly abstract, numerous effects in nature, such as magnetism, map onto mathematical spin models.

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Professor Eno Named UMD Distinguished Scholar-Teacher

Sarah Eno
Sarah Eno

Sarah Eno has been named a University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher. Sarah is a brilliant physicist and a devoted educator who has served for the last two years as our Associate Chair for Graduate Education. She has always been extremely concerned about our education efforts, and a few years ago took the inititative to establish a physics lab staffed mostly by undergraduates, teaching them how to build and operate photodetectors and giving them priceless "real-world" experience.

As a researcher on the CMS experiment at CERN's LHC, Sarah is one of the most accomplished people in the field of particle physics. She has a really amazing ability to analyze data and understands hardware deeply.

She will give her Distinguished Lecture on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 4PM in the Physical Sciences Complex.

Department of Physics

University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-4111
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Fax: 301.314.9525