Abstract

Mechanical power limitations emerge from the physical trade-off between force and velocity. Many biological systems incorporate power-enhancing mechanisms enabling extraordinary accelerations at small sizes. We establish how power enhancement emerges through the dynamic coupling of motors, springs, and latches and reveal how each displays its own force-velocity behavior. We mathematically demonstrate a tunable performance space for spring-actuated movement that is applicable to biological and synthetic systems. Incorporating nonideal spring behavior and parameterizing latch dynamics allows the identification of critical transitions in mass and trade-offs in spring scaling, both of which offer explanations for long-observed scaling patterns in biological systems. This analysis defines the cascading challenges of power enhancement, explores their emergent effects in biological and engineered systems, and charts a pathway for higher-level analysis and synthesis of power-amplified systems.

Abstract

The size dependence of the dielectric constants of barium titanate or other ferroelectric particles can be explored by embedding particles into an epoxy matrix whose dielectric constant can be measured directly. However, to extract the particle dielectric constant requires a model of the composite medium. We compare a finite-element model for various volume fractions and particle arrangements to several effective-medium approximations, which do not consider particle arrangement explicitly. For a fixed number of particles, the composite dielectric constant increases with the degree of agglomeration, and we relate this increase to the number of regions of enhanced electric field along the applied field between particles in an agglomerate. Additionally, even for dispersed particles, we find that the composite method of assessing the particle dielectric constant may not be effective if the particle dielectric constant is too high compared to the background medium dielectric constant.

Abstract

We find that laser-induced local melting attracts and deforms grain boundaries in 2D colloidal crystals. When a melted region in contact with the edge of a crystal grain recrystallizes, it deforms the grain boundarythis attraction is driven by the multiplicity of deformed grain boundary configurations. Furthermore, the attraction provides a method to fabricate artificial colloidal crystal grains of arbitrary shape, enabling new experimental studies of grain boundary dynamics and ultimately hinting at a novel approach for fabricating materials with designer microstructures.

Abstract

We study the two-dimensional superconductor-insulator transition (SIT) in thin films of tantalum nitride. At zero magnetic field, films can be disorder-tuned across the SIT by adjusting thickness and film stoichiometry; insulating films exhibit classical hopping transport. Superconducting films exhibit a magnetic-field-tuned SIT, whose insulating ground state at high field appears to be a quantum-corrected metal. Scaling behavior at the field-tuned SIT shows classical percolation critical exponents \( z ν \approx 1.3 \), with a corresponding critical field \( H_c \ll H_{c2} \), the upper critical field. The Hall effect exhibits a crossing point near \( H_c \), but with a nonuniversal critical value \( ρ_{xy}^{c} \) comparable to the normal-state Hall resistivity. We propose that high-carrier-density metals will always exhibit this pattern of behavior at the boundary between superconducting and (trivially) insulating ground states.

Abstract

Electrons confined to two dimensions display an unexpected diversity of behaviors as they are cooled to absolute zero. Noninteracting electrons are predicted to eventually “localize” into an insulating ground state, and it has long been supposed that electron correlations stabilize only one other phase: superconductivity. However, many two-dimensional (2D) superconducting materials have shown surprising evidence for metallic behavior, where the electrical resistivity saturates in the zero-temperature limit; the nature of this unexpected metallic state remains under intense scrutiny. We report electrical transport properties for two disordered 2D superconductors, indium oxide and tantalum nitride, and observe a magnetic field–tuned transition from a true superconductor to a metallic phase with saturated resistivity. This metallic phase is characterized by a vanishing Hall resistivity, suggesting that it retains particle-hole symmetry from the disrupted superconducting state.

Abstract

Honeycomb iridates such as $\gamma$-Li2IrO3 are argued to realize Kitaev spin-anisotropic magnetic exchange, along with Heisenberg and possibly other couplings. While systems with pure Kitaev interactions are candidates to realize a quantum spin-liquid ground state, in $\gamma$-Li2IrO3 it has been shown that the presence of competing magnetic interactions leads to an incommensurate spiral spin order at ambient pressure below 38 K. We study the pressure sensitivity of this magnetically ordered state in single crystals of $\gamma$-Li2IrO3 using resonant x-ray scattering (RXS) under applied hydrostatic pressures of up to 3 GPa. RXS is a direct probe of electronic order, and we observe the abrupt disappearance of the q sp=(0.57, 0, 0) spiral order at a critical pressure Pc= 1.4 GPa with no accompanying change in the symmetry of the lattice.

Abstract

Two methods of quantifying the spatial resolution of a camera are described, performed, and compared, with the objective of designing an imaging-system experiment for students in an undergraduate optics laboratory. With the goal of characterizing the resolution of a typical digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, we motivate, introduce, and show agreement between traditional test-target contrast measurements and the technique of using Fourier analysis to obtain the modulation transfer function (MTF). The advantages and drawbacks of each method are compared. Finally, we explore the rich optical physics at work in the camera system by calculating the MTF as a function of wavelength and f-number. For example, we find that the Canon 40D demonstrates better spatial resolution at short wavelengths, in accordance with scalar diffraction theory, but is not diffraction-limited, being significantly affected by spherical aberration. The experiment and data analysis routines described here can be built and written in an undergraduate optics lab setting.

Abstract

Magnetic honeycomb iridates are thought to show strongly spin-anisotropic exchange interactions which, when highly frustrated, lead to an exotic state of matter known as the Kitaev quantum spin liquid. However, in all known examples these materials magnetically order at finite temperatures, the scale of which may imply weak frustration. Here we show that the application of a relatively small magnetic field drives the three-dimensional magnet \( \beta-\mathrm{Li}_2\mathrm{IrO}_3 \) from its incommensurate ground state into a quantum correlated paramagnet. Interestingly, this paramagnetic state admixes a zig-zag spin mode analogous to the zig-zag order seen in other Mott-Kitaev compounds. The rapid onset of the field-induced correlated state implies the exchange interactions are delicately balanced, leading to strong frustration and a near degeneracy of different ground states.

Abstract

Direct experimental investigations of the low-energy electronic structure of the \( \mathrm{Na_2 IrO_3} \) iridate insulator are sparse and draw two conflicting pictures. One relies on flat bands and a clear gap, the other involves dispersive states approaching the Fermi level, pointing to surface metallicity. Here, by a combination of angle-resolved photoemission, photoemission electron microscopy, and x-ray absorption, we show that the correct picture is more complex and involves an anomalous band, arising from charge transfer from Na atoms to Ir-derived states. Bulk quasiparticles do exist, but in one of the two possible surface terminations the charge transfer is smaller and they remain elusive.

Abstract

The complex antiferromagnetic orders observed in the honeycomb iridates are a double-edged sword in the search for a quantum spin-liquid: both attesting that the magnetic interactions provide many of the necessary ingredients, while simultaneously impeding access. Focus has naturally been drawn to the unusual magnetic orders that hint at the underlying spin correlations. However, the study of any particular broken symmetry state generally provides little clue about the possibility of other nearby ground states. Here we use magnetic fields approaching 100 tesla to reveal the extent of the spin correlations in \( \gamma \)-lithium iridate. We find that a small component of field along the magnetic easy-axis melts long-range order, revealing a bistable, strongly correlated spin state. Far from the usual destruction of antiferromagnetism via spin polarization, the high-field state possesses only a small fraction of the total iridium moment, without evidence for long-range order up to the highest attainable magnetic fields.

Recent Publications

Student authorFaculty author

11.

Mark Ilton, M. Saad Bhamla, Xiaotian Ma, Suzanne M. Cox, Leah L. Fitchett, Yongjin Kim, Je-sung Koh, Deepak Krishnamurthy, Chi-Yun Kuo, Fatma Zeynep Temel, Alfred J. Crosby, Manu Prakash, Gregory P. Sutton, Robert J. Wood, Emanuel Azizi, Sarah Bergbreiter, and S. N. Patek

The principles of cascading power limits in small, fast biological and engineered systems

Science 360 (2018) 397+.
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12.

Jonas Leif Kaufman, Scott H. Tan, Kirklann Lau, Ashka Shailesh Shah, Robert G. Gambee, Christopher P. Gage, Lupe Maria MacIntosh, Albert Dato, Peter N. Saeta, Richard C. Haskell, and Todd C. Monson

Permittivity effects of particle agglomeration in ferroelectric ceramic-epoxy composites using finite element modeling

AIP Advances 8 (2018) 125020.
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13.

Caitlin Ellen Cash, Jeremy Wang, Maya Maria Martirossyan, Kemper Ludlow, Alejandro E. Baptista, Nina M. Brown, Eli Joseph Weissler, Jatin Abacousnac, and Sharon Gerbode

Local Melting Attracts Grain Boundaries in Colloidal Polycrystals

Physical Review Letters 120 (2018) 018002.
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14.

Nicholas P. Breznay, Mihir Tendulkar, Li Zhang, Sang-Chul Lee, and Aharon Kapitulnik

Superconductor To Weak-Insulator Transitions in Disordered Tantalum Nitride Films

Physical Review B 96 (2017) 134522.
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15.

Nicholas P. Breznay and Aharon Kapitulnik

Particle-Hole Symmetry Reveals Failed Superconductivity in the Metallic Phase of Two-Dimensional Superconducting Films

Science Advances 3 (2017) e1700612.
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16.

Nicholas P. Breznay, Alejandro Ruiz, Alex Frano, Wenli Bi, Robert J. Birgeneau, Daniel Haskel, and James G. Analytis

Resonant X-Ray Scattering Reveals Possible Disappearance of Magnetic Order Under Hydrostatic Pressure in the Kitaev Candidate $\Gamma$-Li$_2$Iro$_3$

Physical Review B 96 (2017) 020402.
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17.

Calvin Leung and Thomas D. Donnelly

Measuring the spatial resolution of an optical system in an undergraduate optics laboratory

American Journal of Physics 85 (2017) 429-438.
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18.

Alejandro Ruiz, Alex Frano, Nicholas P. Breznay, Itamar Kimchi, Toni Helm, Iain Oswald, Julia Y. Chan, R. J. Birgeneau, Zahirul Islam, and James G. Analytis

Correlated States in \( \beta-\mathrm{Li}_2\mathrm{IrO}_3 \) Driven by Applied Magnetic Fields

Nature Communications 8 (2017) 961.
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19.

L. Moreschini, I. Lo Vecchio, Nicholas P. Breznay, S. Moser, S. Ulstrup, R. Koch, J. Wirjo, C. Jozwiak, K. S. Kim, E. Rotenberg, A. Bostwick, J. G. Analytis, and A. Lanzara

Quasiparticles and Charge Transfer At the Two Surfaces of the Honeycomb Iridate \( \mathrm{Na_2 IrO_3} \)

Physical Review B 96 (2017) 161116.
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20.

K A Modic, B J Ramshaw, J B Betts, Nicholas P. Breznay, James G Analytis, Ross D McDonald, and Arkady Shekhter

Robust Spin Correlations at High Magnetic Fields in the Harmonic Honeycomb Iridates

Nature Communications 8 (2017) 2.
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