Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6030027

Authors: Angelo Mullaliu Giuliana Aquilanti Jasper Rikkert Plaisier Marco Giorgetti

The emerging energy demand and need to develop sustainable energy storage systems have drawn extensive attention to fundamental and applied research. Anion redox processes were proposed in cathodic materials in addition to traditional transition metal redox to boost the specific capacity and the electrochemical performance. Alternatively, copper nitroprusside (CuNP) features an electroactive nitrosyl ligand alongside the two structural metals (Fe, Cu), representing an alternative to anion redox in layered oxides. Here, a deep structural investigation is carried out on CuNP by complementing the long-range order sensitivity of X-ray diffraction (XRD) and the local atomic probe of X-ray absorption (XAS). Two different CuNP materials are studied, the hydrated and dehydrated forms. A new phase for hydrated CuNP not reported in the literature is solved, and Rietveld refined. The XAS spectra of the two materials at the Cu and Fe K-edges show a similar yet different atomic environment. The extended XAS spectra (EXAFS) analysis is accomplished by considering three- and four-body terms due to the high collinearity of the atomic chains and gives accurate insight into the first-, second-, and third-shell interatomic distances. Both materials are mounted in Li-ion and Na-ion cells to explore the link between structure and electrochemical performance. As revealed by the charge/discharge cycles, the cyclability in Na-ion cells is negatively affected by interstitial water. The similarity in the local environment and the electrochemical differences suggest a long-range structural dependence on the electrochemical performance.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6030026

Authors: Bernardo Barbiellini Jan Kuriplach Rolando Saniz

Improving the efficiency and longevity of energy storage systems based on Li- and Na-ion rechargeable batteries presents a major challenge. The main problems are essentially capacity loss and limited cyclability. These effects are due to a hierarchy of factors spanning various length and time scales, interconnected in a complex manner. As a consequence, and in spite of several decades of research, a proper understanding of the ageing process has remained somewhat elusive. In recent years, however, combinations of advanced spectroscopy techniques and first-principles simulations have been applied with success to tackle this problem. In this Special Issue, we are pleased to present a selection of articles that, by precisely applying these methods, unravel key aspects of the reduction–oxidation reaction and intercalation processes. Furthermore, the approaches presented provide improvements to standard diagnostic and characterisation techniques, enabling the detection of possible Li-ion flow bottlenecks causing the degradation of capacity and cyclability.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6030025

Authors: Manuel Izquierdo Daniele C. Freitas Dorothée Colson Gastón Garbarino Anne Forget Helène Raffy Jean-Paul Itié Sylvain Ravy Pierre Fertey Manuel Núñez-Regueiro

New insight into the superconducting properties of HgBa2CuO4 (Hg-1201) cuprates is provided by combined measurements of electrical resistivity and single crystal X-ray diffraction under pressure. The changes induced by increasing pressure up to 20 GPa in optimally doped single crystals were investigated. The resistivity measurements as a function of temperature show a metallic behavior up to ~10 GPa that gradually passes into an insulating state, typical of charge ordering, which totally suppresses superconductivity above 13 GPa. The changes in resistivity are accompanied by the apparition of sharp Bragg peaks in the X-ray diffraction patterns, indicating that the charge ordering is accompanied by a 3D oxygen ordering. Considering that pressure induces a charge transfer of about 0.02 at 10 GPa, our results are the first observation of charge order competing with superconductivity developed in the overdoped region of the phase diagram of a Hg-based cuprate.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6030024

Authors: Alexander Moskvin Yuri Panov

Starting with a minimal model for the CuO2 planes with the on-site Hilbert space reduced to only three effective valence centers [CuO4]7−,6−,5− (nominally Cu1+,2+,3+) with different conventional spin and different orbital symmetry, we propose a unified non-BCS model that allows one to describe the main features of the phase diagrams of doped cuprates within the framework of a simple effective field theory. Unconventional bosonic superconducting phase related with a two-particle quantum transport is shown to compete with antiferromagnetic insulating phase, charge order, and metallic Fermi liquid via phase separation regime.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6030023

Authors: Akinori Irizawa Stefano Lupi Augusto Marcelli

Recent theoretical and experimental research is triggering interest to technologies based on radiation in the region from ~0.1 to 20 Terahertz (THz). Today, this region of the electromagnetic (e.m.) spectrum is a frontier area for research in many disciplines. The technological roadmap of the THz radiation considers outdoor and indoor communications, security, drug detection, biometrics, food quality control, agriculture, medicine, semiconductors, and air pollution, and demands high-power and sub-ps compact sources, modern detectors, and new integrated systems. There are still many open questions regarding working at THz frequencies and with THz radiation. In particular, we need to invest in new methodologies and in materials exhibiting the unusual or exotic properties of THz. This book contains original papers dealing with some emerging THz applications, new devices, sources and detectors, and materials with advanced properties for applications in biomedicine, cultural heritage, technology, and space.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6020022

Authors: Fatemeh Keshavarz Marius Kadek Bernardo Barbiellini Arun Bansil

We discuss the characteristic factors that determine the electrochemical potentials in a metal-organic framework used as cathode for Li-ion batteries via density functional theory-based simulations. Our focus is on MIL-101(Fe) cathode material. Our study gives insight into the role of local atomic environment and structural deformations in generating electrochemical potential.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6020021

Authors: Poreddy Manojreddy Srikanth Itapu Jammalamadaka Krishna Ravali Selvendran Sakkarai

We utilized laser irradiation as a potential technique in tuning the electrical performance of NiOx/SiO2 thin film transistors (TFTs). By optimizing the laser fluence and the number of laser pulses, the TFT performance was evaluated in terms of mobility, threshold voltage, on/off current ratio and subthreshold swing, all of which were derived from the transfer and output characteristics. The 500 laser pulses-irradiated NiOx/SiO2 TFT exhibited an enhanced mobility of 3 cm2/V-s from a value of 1.25 cm2/V-s for as-deposited NiOx/SiO2 TFT, subthreshold swing of 0.65 V/decade, on/off current ratio of 6.5 × 104 and threshold voltage of −12.2 V. The concentration of defect gap states as a result of light absorption processes explains the enhanced performance of laser-irradiated NiOx. Additionally, laser irradiation results in complex thermal and photo thermal changes, thus resulting in an enhanced electrical performance of the p-type NiOx/SiO2 TFT structure.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6020020

Authors: Victor D. Lakhno

Large-radius excitons in polar crystals are considered. It is shown that translation invariant description of excitons interacting with a phonon field leads to a nonzero contribution of phonons into the exciton ground state energy only in the case of weak or intermediate electron-phonon coupling. A conclusion is made that self-trapped excitons cannot exist in the limit of strong coupling. Peculiarities of the absorption and emission spectra of translation invariant excitons in a phonon field are discussed. Conditions when the hydrogen-like exciton model remains valid in the case of electron-phonon interaction are found.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6020019

Authors: Pia Steinmetz Andrea Ehrmann

Magnetic nanodots are of high interest for basic research due to their broad spectrum of possible magnetic states and magnetization reversal processes. Besides, they are of technological interest since they can be applied in magnetic data storage, especially if vortex states occur in closed dots or open rings. While producing such nanorings and nanodots from diverse magnetic materials by lithographic techniques is quite common nowadays, these production technologies are naturally prone to small deviations of the borders of these nanoparticles. Here we investigate the influence of well-defined angular-dependent roughness of the edges, created by building the nanoparticles from small cubes, on the resulting hysteresis loops and magnetization reversal processes in five different round nanodots with varying open areas, from a thin ring to a closed nanodot. By varying the orientation of the external magnetic field, the impact of the angle-dependent roughness can be estimated. Especially for the thinnest ring, significant dependence of the transverse magnetization component on the field orientation can be found.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6020018

Authors: Christopher Sims

The observation of wormholes has proven to be difficult in the field of astrophysics. However, with the discovery of novel topological quantum materials, it is possible to observe astrophysical and particle physics effects in condensed matter physics. It is proposed in this work that wormholes can exist in a type-III Weyl phase. In addition, these wormholes are topologically protected, making them feasible to create and measure in condensed matter systems. Finally, Co3In2X2 (X = S, Se) are identified as ideal type-III Weyl semimetals and experiments are put forward to confirm the existence of a type-III Weyl phase.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6020017

Authors: Emre Öncü Andrea Ehrmann

Square magnetic nanodots can show intentional or undesired shape modifications, resulting in superellipses with concave or convex edges. Some research groups also concentrated on experimentally investigating or simulating concave nano-superellipses, sometimes called magnetic astroids due to their similarity to the mathematical shape of an astroid. Due to the strong impact of shape anisotropy in nanostructures, the magnetization-reversal process including coercive and reversibility fields can be expected to be different in concave or convex superellipses than that in common squares. Here, we present angle-dependent micromagnetic simulations on magnetic nanodots with the shape of concave superellipses. While magnetization reversal occurs via meander states, horseshoe states or the 180° rotation of magnetization for the perfect square, depending on the angle of the external magnetic field, more complicated states occur for superellipses with strong concaveness. Even apparently asymmetric hysteresis loops can be found along the hard magnetization directions, which can be attributed to measuring minor loops since the reversibility fields become much larger than the coercive fields.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6020016

Authors: Luca Dell’Anna Stefano Grava

We review the study of the superfluid phase transition in a system of fermions whose interaction can be tuned continuously along the crossover from Bardeen–Cooper–Schrieffer (BCS) superconducting phase to a Bose–Einstein condensate (BEC), also in the presence of a spin–orbit coupling. Below a critical temperature the system is characterized by an order parameter. Generally a mean field approximation cannot reproduce the correct behavior of the critical temperature Tc over the whole crossover. We analyze the crucial role of quantum fluctuations beyond the mean-field approach useful to find Tc along the crossover in the presence of a spin–orbit coupling, within a path integral approach. A formal and detailed derivation for the set of equations useful to derive Tc is performed in the presence of Rashba, Dresselhaus and Zeeman couplings. In particular in the case of only Rashba coupling, for which the spin–orbit effects are more relevant, the two-body bound state exists for any value of the interaction, namely in the full crossover. As a result the effective masses of the emerging bosonic excitations are finite also in the BCS regime.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6020015

Authors: Alfonso Maiellaro Roberta Citro

We investigate a Majorana Benalcazar–Bernevig–Hughes (BBH) model showing the emergence of topological corner states. The model, consisting of a two-dimensional Su–Schrieffer–Heeger (SSH) system of Majorana fermions with π flux, exhibits a non-trivial topological phase in the absence of Berry curvature, while the Berry connection leads to a non-trivial topology. Indeed, the system belongs to the class of second-order topological superconductors (HOTSC2), exhibiting corner Majorana states protected by C4 symmetry and reflection symmetries. By calculating the 2D Zak phase, we derive the topological phase diagram of the system and demonstrate the bulk-edge correspondence. Finally, we analyze the finite size scaling behavior of the topological properties. Our results can serve to design new 2D materials with non-zero Zak phase and robust edge states.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6020014

Authors: Sara Conti Andrea Perali François M. Peeters David Neilson

Superfluidity has been predicted and now observed in a number of different electron-hole double-layer semiconductor heterostructures. In some of the heterostructures, such as GaAs and Ge-Si electron-hole double quantum wells, there is a strong mismatch between the electron and hole effective masses. We systematically investigate the sensitivity to unequal masses of the superfluid properties and the self-consistent screening of the electron-hole pairing interaction. We find that the superfluid properties are insensitive to mass imbalance in the low density BEC regime of strongly-coupled boson-like electron-hole pairs. At higher densities, in the BEC-BCS crossover regime of fermionic pairs, we find that mass imbalance between electrons and holes weakens the superfluidity and expands the density range for the BEC-BCS crossover regime. This permits screening to kill the superfluid at a lower density than for equal masses.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6020013

Authors: Giovanni Alberto Ummarino

I calculated the critical temperature and superconducting gap in the framework of one band d wave Eliashberg theory with only one free parameter in order to reproduce the experimental data relative to Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+δ(BSCCO) in the overdoped regime. The theoretical calculations are in excellent agreement with the experimental data and indicate that cuprates in the overdoped regime are well described by standard d-wave Eliashberg theory with coupling provided by antiferromagnetic spin fluctuations.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6010012

Authors: Takashi Yanagisawa Kunihiko Yamaji Mitake Miyazaki

We investigate the role of kinetic energy for the stability of superconducting state in the two-dimensional Hubbard model on the basis of an optimization variational Monte Carlo method. The wave function is optimized by multiplying by correlation operators of site off-diagonal type. This wave function is written in an exponential-type form given as ψλ=exp(−λK)ψG for the Gutzwiller wave function ψG and a kinetic operator K. The kinetic correlation operator exp(−λK) plays an important role in the emergence of superconductivity in large-U region of the two-dimensional Hubbard model, where U is the on-site Coulomb repulsive interaction. We show that the superconducting condensation energy mainly originates from the kinetic energy in the strongly correlated region. This may indicate a possibility of high-temperature superconductivity due to the kinetic energy effect in correlated electron systems.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6010011

Authors: Rukhsan Ul Haq Louis H. Kauffman

The Kitaev chain model exhibits topological order that manifests as topological degeneracy, Majorana edge modes and Z2 topological invariant of the bulk spectrum. This model can be obtained from a transverse field Ising model(TFIM) using the Jordan–Wigner transformation. TFIM has neither topological degeneracy nor any edge modes. Topological degeneracy associated with topological order is central to topological quantum computation. In this paper, we explore topological protection of the ground state manifold in the case of Majorana fermion models which exhibit Z2 topological order. We show that there are at least two different ways to understand this topological protection of Majorana fermion qubits: one way is based on fermionic mode operators and the other is based on anti-commuting symmetry operators. We also show how these two different ways are related to each other. We provide a very general approach to understanding the topological protection of Majorana fermion qubits in the case of lattice Hamiltonians. We then show how in topological phases in Majorana fermion models gives rise to new braid group representations. So, we give a unifying and broad perspective of topological phases in Majorana fermion models based on anti-commuting symmetry operators and braid group representations of Majorana fermions as anyons.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6010010

Authors: Akira Kojima

Charles Kittel has written a masterpiece book, “Introduction to Solid State Physics” (ISSP). He mentions in the chapter on ferroelectrics in detail that barium titanate is the typical displacive-type ferroelectric compound where the Ti4+ displacement develops a dipole moment, which has made a deep impression in our mind. The author’s group, however, has arrived at an alternative viewpoint on the unit cell structure of barium titanate based on their exhaustive experimental studies. Accordingly, the author sent his relevant papers in 2006 and 2007 to Kittel. He endorsed the results frankly with reminiscence. He mentioned revising the ferroelectric chapter of ISSP according the author’s suggestions. It appears to be admissible to publish details now after Kittel has passed away. A long time misunderstanding of the phase transition in barium titanate is due to the text book knowledge of ISSP.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6010009

Authors: Behnam Parsaeifard Deb Sankar De Jonas A. Finkler Stefan Goedecker

Using fingerprints used mainly in machine learning schemes of the potential energy surface, we detect in a fully algorithmic way long range effects on local physical properties in a simple covalent system of carbon atoms. The fact that these long range effects exist for many configurations implies that atomistic simulation methods, such as force fields or modern machine learning schemes, that are based on locality assumptions, are limited in accuracy. We show that the basic driving mechanism for the long range effects is charge transfer. If the charge transfer is known, locality can be recovered for certain quantities such as the band structure energy.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6010008

Authors: Hiroyuki Tajima Pierbiagio Pieri Andrea Perali

We investigate single-particle excitation properties in the normal state of a two-band superconductor or superfluid throughout the Bardeen–Cooper–Schrieffer (BCS) to Bose–Einstein-condensation (BEC) crossover, within the many-body T-matrix approximation for multichannel pairing fluctuations. We address the single-particle density of states and the spectral functions consisting of two contributions associated with a weakly interacting deep band and a strongly interacting shallow band, relevant for iron-based multiband superconductors and multicomponent fermionic superfluids. We show how the pseudogap state in the shallow band is hidden by the deep band contribution throughout the two-band BCS-BEC crossover. Our results could explain the missing pseudogap in recent scanning tunneling microscopy experiments in FeSe superconductors.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6010007

Authors: Cynthia P. Quinteros Jordi Antoja-Lleonart Beatriz Noheda

Memristive devices made of silicon compatible simple oxides are of great interest for storage and logic devices in future adaptable electronics and non-digital computing applications. A series of highly desirable properties observed in an atomic-layer-deposited hafnia-based stack, triggered our interest to investigate their suitability for technological implementations. In this paper, we report our attempts to reproduce the observed behaviour within the framework of a proposed underlying mechanism. The inability of achieving the electrical response of the original batch indicates that a key aspect in those devices has remained undetected. By comparing newly made devices with the original ones, we gather some clues on the plausible alternative mechanisms that could give rise to comparable electrical behaviours.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6010006

Authors: S.V.G. Menon

The first objective of this paper is to investigate the scaling behavior of liquid-vapor phase transition in FCC and BCCmetals starting from the zero-temperature four-parameter formula for cohesive energy. The effective potentials between the atoms in the solid are determined while using lattice inversion techniques as a function of scaling variables in the four-parameter formula. These potentials are split into repulsive and attractive parts, as per the Weeks–Chandler–Anderson prescription, and used in the coupling-parameter expansion for solving the Ornstein–Zernike equation that was supplemented with an accurate closure. Thermodynamic quantities obtained via the correlation functions are used in order to obtain critical point parameters and liquid-vapor phase diagrams. Their dependence on the scaling variables in the cohesive energy formula are also determined. An equally important second objective of the paper is to revisit coupling parameter expansion for solving the Ornstein–Zernike equation. The Newton–Armijo non-linear solver and Krylov-space based linear solvers are employed in this regard. These methods generate a robust algorithm that can be used to span the entire fluid region, except very low temperatures. The accuracy of the method is established by comparing the phase diagrams with those that were obtained via computer simulation. The avoidance of the ’no-solution-region’ of the Ornstein-Zernike equation in coupling-parameter expansion is also discussed. Details of the method and complete algorithm provided here would make this technique more accessible to researchers investigating the thermodynamic properties of one component fluids.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6010005

Authors: Condensed Matter Editorial Office Condensed Matter Editorial Office

Peer review is the driving force of journal development, and reviewers are gatekeepers who ensure that Condensed Matter maintains its standards for the high quality of its published papers [...]

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6010004

Authors: Vladimir Kogan Norio Nakagawa

The magnetic field hz of a moving Pearl vortex in a superconducting thin-film in (x,y) plane is studied with the help of the time-dependent London equation. It is found that for a vortex at the origin moving in +x direction, hz(x,y) is suppressed in front of the vortex, x&gt;0, and enhanced behind (x&lt;0). The distribution asymmetry is proportional to the velocity and to the conductivity of normal quasiparticles. The vortex self-energy and the interaction of two moving vortices are evaluated.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6010003

Authors: Levan Chkhartishvili Levan Antashvili Lasha Dalakishvili Roin Chedia Otar Tsagareishvili Archil Mikeladze

Nanocomposites based on boron carbide B4C are hard materials with wide field of applications in modern technologies. A system of first-order ordinary differential equations that simulates the process of chemical synthesis of nanopowders of B4C&ndash;TiB2 compositions containing titanium diboride (TiB2) as an additional phase is suggested and resolved numerically for a typical ratio of reaction constants. Reagents and products concentrations are found as time-functions. In this way, the optimal route of production technology of boron carbide-based nanomaterials can be identified.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6010002

Authors: Annette Bussmann-Holder Hugo Keller

K.A. M&uuml;ller took a long route in science leaving many traces and imprints, which have been and are still today initiations for further research activities. We &ldquo;walk&rdquo; along this outstanding path but are certainly not able to provide a complete picture of it, since the way was not always straight, often marked by unintended detours, which had novel impact on the international research society.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat6010001

Authors: Yu-Hao Deng

High-resolution TEM (HRTEM) is a powerful tool for structure characterization. However, methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3) perovskite is highly sensitive to electron beams and easily decomposes into lead iodide (PbI2). Misidentifications, such as PbI2 being incorrectly labeled as perovskite, are widely present in HRTEM characterization and would negatively affect the development of perovskite research field. Here misidentifications in MAPbI3 perovskite are summarized, classified, and corrected based on low-dose imaging and electron diffraction (ED) simulations. Corresponding crystallographic parameters of intrinsic tetragonal MAPbI3 and the confusable hexagonal PbI2 are presented unambiguously. Finally, the method of proper phase identification and some strategies to control the radiation damage in HRTEM are provided. This warning paves the way to avoid future misinterpretations in HRTEM characterization of perovskite and other electron beam-sensitive materials.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040081

Authors: Kazuhisa Hoshi Shunsuke Sakuragi Takeshi Yajima Yosuke Goto Akira Miura Chikako Moriyoshi Yoshihiro Kuroiwa Yoshikazu Mizuguchi

Recently, the anomalous two-fold-symmetric in-plane anisotropy of superconducting states has been observed in a layered superconductor system, LaO1&minus;xFxBiSSe (x = 0.1 and 0.5), with a tetragonal (four-fold symmetric) in-plane structure. To understand the origin of the phenomena observed in LaO1&minus;xFxBiSSe, clarification of the low-temperature structural phase diagram is needed. In this study, we have investigated the low-temperature crystal structure of LaO1&minus;xFxBiSSe (x = 0, 0.01, 0.02, 0.03, and 0.5). From synchrotron X-ray diffraction experiments, a structural transition from tetragonal to monoclinic was observed for x = 0 and 0.01 at 340 and 240 K, respectively. For x = 0.03, a structural transition and broadening of the diffraction peak were not observed down to 100 K. These facts suggest that the structural transition could be suppressed by 3% F substitution in LaO1&minus;xFxBiSSe. Furthermore, the crystal structure for x = 0.5 at 4 K was examined by low-temperature laboratory X-ray diffraction, which confirmed that the tetragonal structure is maintained at 4 K for x = 0.5. Our structural investigation suggests that the two-fold-symmetric in-plane anisotropy of superconducting states observed in LaO1&minus;xFxBiSSe was not originated from structural symmetry lowering in its average structure. To evaluate the possibility of the local structural modification like nanoscale puddles in the average tetragonal structure, further experiments are desired.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040080

Authors: Victor D. Lakhno

It is shown that the translation-invariant bipolaron theory of superconductivity can explain the dependence of the isotope coefficient in high-temperature superconductors on the critical temperature of a superconducting transition: in the case of strong electron&ndash;phonon interaction, the isotope coefficient is low when doping is optimal and high when it is weak. It is demonstrated that in the case of London penetration depth, the absolute value of the isotope coefficient behaves in the opposite way. A conclusion of the great role of non-adiabaticity in the case of weak doping is made. The criteria for d-wave phonon input into the isotope effect is established.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040079

Authors: Giorgio Benedek Joseph R. Manson Salvador Miret-Artés Adrian Ruckhofer Wolfgang E. Ernst Anton Tamtögl Jan Peter Toennies

Helium-atom scattering (HAS) spectroscopy from conducting surfaces has been shown to provide direct information on the electron&ndash;phonon interaction, more specifically the mass-enhancement factor &lambda; from the temperature dependence of the Debye&ndash;Waller exponent, and the mode-selected electron&ndash;phonon coupling constants &lambda;Q&nu; from the inelastic HAS intensities from individual surface phonons. The recent applications of the method to superconducting ultra-thin films, quasi-1D high-index surfaces, and layered transition-metal and topological pnictogen chalcogenides are briefly reviewed.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040078

Authors: Nicola Pinto Corrado Di Nicola Angela Trapananti Marco Minicucci Andrea Di Cicco Augusto Marcelli Antonio Bianconi Fabio Marchetti Claudio Pettinari Andrea Perali

Preliminary evidence for the occurrence of high-TC superconductivity in alkali-doped organic materials, such as potassium-doped p-terphenyl (KPT), were recently obtained by magnetic susceptibility measurements and by the opening of a large superconducting gap as measured by ARPES and STM techniques. In this work, KPT samples have been synthesized by a chemical method and characterized by low-temperature Raman scattering and resistivity measurements. Here, we report the occurrence of a resistivity drop of more than 4 orders of magnitude at low temperatures in KPT samples in the form of compressed powder. This fact was interpreted as a possible sign of a broad superconducting transition taking place below 90 K in granular KPT. The granular nature of the KPT system appears to be also related to the 20 K broadening of the resistivity drop around the critical temperature.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040077

Authors: Guy Deutscher

A short coherence length is a distinctive feature of many cases of unconventional superconductivity. While in conventional superconductors, it is many orders of magnitude larger than the basic inter-particle distance, a short coherence length is common to superconductors as diverse as the cuprates, the picnites and granular superconductors. We dwell particularly on the last, because their simple chemical structure makes them a favorable material for exploring fundamental phenomena such as the Bardeen-Cooper Schrieffer (BCS)-to-Bose&ndash;Einstein condensation cross-over and the effect of the vicinity of a Mott metal-to-insulator transition.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040076

Authors: Sinu Mathew Aben Regi Abraham Sandhya Chintalapati Soumya Sarkar Boby Joseph Thirumalai Venkatesan

A thorough investigation of the structural parameters of micromechanically exfoliated multilayer WSe2 flakes was undertaken between 400 K to 110 K. Crystal structure of WSe2 remains in the trigonal prismatic structure in this temperature range, however, with a clear difference in the temperature dependence of the in-plane a, and the out-of-plane c, lattice parameters. The linear coefficients of thermal expansion of a and c are 5.132 &times; 10&minus;6/K and 8.105 &times; 10&minus;6/K, respectively. The temperature dependence of the unit-cell volume is analyzed using zero-pressure equation-of-state which yielded the Debye temperature of the WSe2 to be 160 K. Following the temperature dependence of the W-Se and W-W bond distances, a nonlinear behavior is observed in the former in contrast to a rather regular behavior of the later. This significant difference in the temperature dependence of the a and c lattice parameters can have consequences in the macroscopic physical properties of the system. A good correlation between the temperature dependence of the W-Se bond distance and Raman E2g1 mode has been observed.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040075

Authors: Alice V. Llewellyn Alessia Matruglio Dan J. L. Brett Rhodri Jervis Paul R. Shearing

Renewable technologies, and in particular the electric vehicle revolution, have generated tremendous pressure for the improvement of lithium ion battery performance. To meet the increasingly high market demand, challenges include improving the energy density, extending cycle life and enhancing safety. In order to address these issues, a deep understanding of both the physical and chemical changes of battery materials under working conditions is crucial for linking degradation processes to their origins in material properties and their electrochemical signatures. In situ and operando synchrotron-based X-ray techniques provide powerful tools for battery materials research, allowing a deep understanding of structural evolution, redox processes and transport properties during cycling. In this review, in situ synchrotron-based X-ray diffraction methods are discussed in detail with an emphasis on recent advancements in improving the spatial and temporal resolution. The experimental approaches reviewed here include cell designs and materials, as well as beamline experimental setup details. Finally, future challenges and opportunities for battery technologies are discussed.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040073

Authors: Marcelo Lopes Pereira Júnior Cícera Maria Viana de Araújo José Moreira De Sousa Rafael Timóteo de Sousa Júnior Luiz Fernando Roncaratti Júnior William Ferreira Giozza Luiz Antonio Ribeiro Júnior

We carried out fully-atomistic reactive molecular dynamics simulations to study the elastic properties and fracture patterns of transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) MoX2 (X = S, Se, Te) membranes, in their 2H and 1T phases, within the framework of the Stillinger&ndash;Weber potential. Results showed that the fracture mechanism of these membranes occurs through a fast crack propagation followed by their abrupt rupture into moieties. As a general trend, the translated arrangement of the chalcogen atoms in the 1T phase contributes to diminishing their structural stability when contrasted with the 2H one. Among the TMDs studied here, 2H-MoSe2 has a higher tensile strength (25.98 GPa).

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040074

Authors: Jin Zhang Jeevake Attapattu Jeffrey M. McMahon

Internal energies, enthalpies, phonon dispersion curves, and superconductivity of atomic metallic hydrogen are calculated. The standard use of pseudopotentials in density-functional theory are compared with full Coulomb-potential, all-electron linear muffin-tin orbital calculations. Quantitatively similar results are found as far as internal energies are concerned. Larger differences are found for phase-transition pressures; significant enough to affect the phase diagram. Electron&ndash;phonon spectral functions &alpha;2F(&omega;) also show significant differences. Against expectation, the estimated superconducting critical-temperature Tc of the first atomic metallic phase I41/amd (Cs-IV) at 500 GPa is actually higher.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040072

Authors: Alessandro D’Elia Cesare Grazioli Albano Cossaro Bowen Li Chongwen Zou Seyed Javad Rezvani Augusto Marcelli Marcello Coreno

The VO2 is a 3d1 electron system that undergoes a reversible metal&ndash;insulator transition (MIT) triggered by temperature and characterized by an interplay between orbital, charge and lattice degrees of freedom. The characterization of the MIT features are therefore extremely challenging and powerful investigation tools are required. In this work, we demonstrate how a combination of resonant photoemission and constant initial state (CIS) spectroscopy can be used as an orbital selective probe of the MIT studying three different VO2/TiO2(001) strained films. The CIS spectra of the V 3d and V 3p photo-electrons shows sensitivity to different orbital contribution and the presence of a spin polarized band close to the Fermi level.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040071

Authors: Andrea Ehrmann Tomasz Blachowicz

Asymmetric magnetic hysteresis loops are usually found in exchange bias (EB) systems, typically after field cooling a system below the N&eacute;el temperature of an antiferromagnet exchange coupled to a ferromagnet. Alternatively, asymmetric hysteresis loops may occur due to undetected minor loops or in systems with a rotational anisotropy. Here, we report on an exchange bias thin film system MgO(100)/Co/CoO, examined at room temperature, which is far above the blocking temperature, by the magneto-optical Kerr effect (MOKE). While the longitudinal hysteresis loops partly show steps which are well-known from diverse purely ferromagnetic systems, the transverse hysteresis loops exhibit clear asymmetries, similar to exchange biased systems at low temperatures, and unusual transverse magnetization values at saturation. Since minor loops and a rotational anisotropy can be excluded in this case, this asymmetry can possibly be a residue of the exchange bias coupling at lower temperatures.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040070

Authors: Carlo Di Castro

I present here a short memory of my scientific contacts with K.A. M&uuml;ller starting from the Interlaken Conference (1988), Erice (1992 and 1993), and Cottbus (1994) on the initial studies on phase separation (PS) and charge inhomogeneity in cuprates carried out against the view of the majority of the scientific community at that time. Going over the years and passing through the charge density wave (CDW) instability of the correlated Fermi liquid (FL) and to the consequences of charge density fluctuations (CDFs), I end with a presentation of my current research activity on CDWs and the related two-dimensional charge density fluctuations (2D-CDFs). A scenario follows of the physics of cuprates, which includes the solution of the decades-long problem of the strange metal (SM) state.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040069

Authors: Hiroshi Kamimura Masaaki Araidai Kunio Ishida Shunichi Matsuno Hideaki Sakata Kenji Shiraishi Osamu Sugino Jaw-Shen Tsai

In 1986 Bednorz and Műller discovered high temperature superconductivity in copper oxides by chemically doping holes into La2CuO4 (LCO), the antiferromagnetic insulator. Despite intense experimental and theoretical research during the past 34 years, no general consensus on the electronic-spin structures and the origin of pseudogap has been obtained. In this circumstance, we performed a first-principles calculation of underdoped cuprate superconductors La2-xSrxCuO4 (LSCO) within the meta-generalized gradient approximation of the density functional theory. Our calculations clarify first the important role of the anti Jahn-Teller (JT) effect, the backward deformation against the JT distortion in La2CuO4 by doping extra holes. The resulting electronic structure agrees with the two-component theory provided by the tight-binding model of Kamimura and Suwa (K-S), which has been also used to elucidate the d-wave superconductivity. Our first-principles calculation thus justifies the K-S model and demonstrates advanced understanding of cuprates. For example, the remarkable feature of our calculations is the appearance of the spin-polarized band with a nearly flat-band character, showing the peaky nature in the density of states at the Fermi level.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040068

Authors: Isaac B. Bersuker Victor Polinger

In a semi-review paper, we show that the local pseudo-Jahn&ndash;Teller effect (PJTE) in transition metal B ion center of ABO3 perovskite crystals, notably BaTiO3, is the basis of all their main properties. The vibronic coupling between the ground and excited electronic states of the local BO6 center results in dipolar distortions, leading to an eight-well adiabatic potential energy surface with local tunneling or over-the-barrier transitions between them. The intercenter interaction between these dipolar dynamic units results in the formation of the temperature-dependent three ferroelectric and one paraelectric phases with order&ndash;disorder phase transitions. The local PJTE dipolar distortion is subject to the presence of sufficiently close in energy local electronic states with opposite parity but the same spin multiplicity, thus limiting the electronic structure and spin of the B(dn) ions that can trigger ferroelectricity. This allowed us to formulate the necessary conditions for the transition metal perovskites to possess both ferroelectric and magnetic (multiferroic) properties simultaneously. It clarifies the role of spin in the spontaneous polarization. We also show that the interaction between the independently rotating dipoles in the paraelectric phase may lead to a self-assembly process resulting in polar nanoregions and relaxor properties. Exploring interactions of PJTE ferroelectrics with external perturbations, we revealed a completely novel property&mdash;orientational polarization in solids&mdash;a phenomenon first noticed by P. Debye in 1912 as a possibility, which was never found till now. The hindered rotation of the local dipole moments and their ordering along an external field is qualitatively similar to the behavior of polar molecules in liquids, thus adding a new dimension to the properties of solids&mdash;notably, the perovskite ferroelectrics. We estimated the contribution of the orientational polarization to the permittivity and flexoelectricity of perovskite crystals in different limiting conditions.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040067

Authors: Michel Pouchard Antoine Villesuzanne

From a tight-binding approach to the instability of nonbonding electronic states, along a double-well potential, we consider here how the coupling of these states with a phonon mode can open a superconducting gap at the Fermi level. The alternation of broken- and unbroken-symmetry states, along the phonon breathing distortion, induces the mixing of band-edge states on a very short timescale, according to the noncrossing rule of chemists. We show that this mixing may generate cationic and anionic disproportionation. The negative U mechanism is thus justified here, leading to the mixing of occupied and unoccupied pair states, for the opening of a 2&Delta; superconducting gap. The closeness of broad &sigma;* and narrow &pi;* bands in the vicinity of the Fermi level should favor the superconducting phase over the insulating or metallic state, in agreement with Micnas et al.&rsquo;s studies. We applied this approach to several families of superconducting materials, i.e., doped strontium titanate, high-TC cuprates and iron selenide.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040066

Authors: Jakob Nachtigal Marija Avramovska Andreas Erb Danica Pavićević Robin Guehne Jürgen Haase

Planar oxygen nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxation and shift data from all cuprate superconductors available in the literature are analyzed. They reveal a temperature-independent pseudogap at the Fermi surface, which increases with decreasing doping in family-specific ways, i.e., for some materials, the pseudogap is substantial at optimal doping while for others it is nearly closed at optimal doping. The states above the pseudogap, or in its absence are similar for all cuprates and doping levels, and Fermi liquid-like. If the pseudogap is assumed exponential it can be as large as about 1500 K for the most underdoped systems, relating it to the exchange coupling. The pseudogap can vary substantially throughout a material, being the cause of cuprate inhomogeneity in terms of charge and spin, so consequences for the NMR analyses are discussed. This pseudogap appears to be in agreement with the specific heat data measured for the YBaCuO family of materials, long ago. Nuclear relaxation and shift show deviations from this scenario near Tc, possibly due to other in-gap states.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040065

Authors: Andreas Bill Vladimir Hizhnyakov Reinhard K. Kremer Götz Seibold Aleksander Shelkan Alexei Sherman

The microscopic mechanism of charge instabilities and the formation of inhomogeneous states in systems with strong electron correlations is investigated. We demonstrate that within a strong coupling expansion the single-band Hubbard model shows an instability towards phase separation and extend the approach also for an analysis of phase separation in the Hubbard-Kanamori hamiltonian as a prototypical multiband model. We study the pairing fluctuations on top of an inhomogeneous stripe state where superconducting correlations in the extended s-wave and d-wave channels correspond to (anti)bound states in the two-particle spectra. Whereas extended s-wave fluctuations are relevant on the scale of the local interaction parameter U, we find that d-wave fluctuations are pronounced in the energy range of the active subband which crosses the Fermi level. As a result, low energy spin and charge fluctuations can transfer the d-wave correlations from the bound states to the low energy quasiparticle bands. Our investigations therefore help to understand the coexistence of stripe correlations and d-wave superconductivity in cuprates.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040064

Authors: Themis Matsoukas

We formulate the statistics of the discrete multicomponent fragmentation event using a methodology borrowed from statistical mechanics. We generate the ensemble of all feasible distributions that can be formed when a single integer multicomponent mass is broken into fixed number of fragments and calculate the combinatorial multiplicity of all distributions in the set. We define random fragmentation by the condition that the probability of distribution be proportional to its multiplicity, and obtain the partition function and the mean distribution in closed form. We then introduce a functional that biases the probability of distribution to produce in a systematic manner fragment distributions that deviate to any arbitrary degree from the random case. We corroborate the results of the theory by Monte Carlo simulation, and demonstrate examples in which components in sieve cuts of the fragment distribution undergo preferential mixing or segregation relative to the parent particle.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040063

Authors: Alexander Shengelaya Fabio La Mattina Kazimierz Conder

The temperature and magnetic field dependence of resistivity in WO2.9 was investigated. The variation of resistivity with temperature displayed unusual features, such as a broad maximum around 230 K and a logarithmic increase of resistivity below 16 K. In the temperature range 16&ndash;230 K, we observed metallic-like behavior with a positive temperature coefficient. The combined analysis of resistivity and magnetoresistance (MR) data shows that these unusual transport properties of WO2.9 can be understood by considering the (bi)polaronic nature of charge carriers. In contrast to magnetization data, superconducting transition below Tc = 80 K was not detected in resistivity measurements, indicating that the superconductivity is localized in small regions that do not percolate. We found a strong increase in positive MR below 80 K. This effect is similar to that observed in underdoped cuprates, where the substantial increase of MR is attributed to superconducting fluctuations in small clusters. Therefore, the temperature dependence of MR indicates the presence of non-percolating superconducting clusters in WO2.9 below 80 K in agreement with magnetization data.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040062

Authors: Edward Bormashenko Pritam Kumar Roy Shraga Shoval Irina Legchenkova

We report interfacial crystallization in the droplets of saline solutions placed on superhydrophobic surfaces and liquid marbles filled with the saline. Evaporation of saline droplets deposited on superhydrophobic surface resulted in the formation of cup-shaped millimeter-scaled residues. The formation of the cup-like deposit is reasonably explained within the framework of the theory of the coffee-stain effect, namely, the rate of heterogeneous crystallization along the contact line of the droplet is significantly higher than in the droplet bulk. Crystallization within evaporated saline marbles coated with lycopodium particles depends strongly on the evaporation rate. Rapidly evaporated saline marbles yielded dented shells built of a mixture of colloidal particles and NaCl crystals. We relate the formation of these shells to the interfacial crystallization promoted by hydrophobic particles coating the marbles, accompanied with the upward convection flows supplying the saline to the particles, serving as the centers of interfacial crystallization. Convective flows prevail over the diffusion mass transport for the saline marbles heated from below.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040061

Authors: Artem A. Alexandrov Alina U. Badamshina Stanislav L. Ogarkov

Here, classical and quantum field theory of dipolar, axisymmetric quadrupolar and octupolar Bose gases is considered within a general approach. Dipole, axisymmetric quadrupole and octupole interaction potentials in the momentum representation are calculated. These results clearly demonstrate attraction and repulsion areas in corresponding gases. Then the Gross&ndash;Pitaevskii (GP) equation, which plays a key role in the present paper, is derived from the corresponding functional. The zoology of the form factors appearing in the GP equation is studied in details. The proper classes for the description of spatially non-uniform condensates form factors are chosen. In the Thomas&ndash;Fermi approximation a general solution of the GP equation with a quasilocal form factor is obtained. This solution has an interesting form in terms of a double rapidly converging series that universally includes all the interactions considered. Plots of condensate density functions for the exponential-trigonometric form factor are given. For the sake of completeness, in this paper we consider the GP equation with an optical lattice potential in the limit of small condensate densities. This limit does not distinguish between dipolar, quadrupolar and octupolar gases. An important analysis of the condensate stability, in other words the study of condensate excitations, is also performed in this paper. In the Gaussian approximation (from the Gross&ndash;Pitaevskii functional), a functional describing the perturbations of the condensate is derived in detail. This problem is an analog of the Bogolubov transformation used in the study of quantum Bose gases in operator formalism. For a probe wave function in the form of a plane wave, a spectrum of (Bogoliubov) excitations was obtained, from which an equation describing the threshold momentum for the emergence of instability was derived. An important result of this paper is the dependence of the threshold on the momentum of a stationary condensate. For completeness of the presentation, the approximating expression in the form of a rapidly converging series is obtained for the corresponding dependence, and plots of the corresponding series for the exponential-trigonometric form factor are given. Finally, in the conclusion a quantum hydrodynamic theory for dipolar, axisymmetric quadrupolar and octupolar gases is briefly presented, giving a clue to the experimental determination of the form factors.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040060

Authors: Gernot Scheerer Margherita Boselli Dorota Pulmannova Carl Willem Rischau Adrien Waelchli Stefano Gariglio Enrico Giannini Dirk van der Marel Jean-Marc Triscone

SrTiO3 is an insulating material which, using chemical doping, pressure, strain or isotope substitution, can be turned into a ferroelectric material or into a superconductor. The material itself, and the two aforementioned phenomena, have been subjects of intensive research of Karl Alex M&uuml;ller and have been a source of inspiration, among other things, for his Nobel prize-winning research on high temperature superconductivity. An intriguing outstanding question is whether the occurrence of ferroelectricity and superconductivity in the same material is just a coincidence, or whether a deeper connection exists. In addition there is the empirical question of how these two phenomena interact with each other. Here we show that it is possible to induce superconductivity in a two-dimensional layer at the interface of SrTiO3 and LaAlO3 when we make the SrTiO3 ferroelectric by means of 18O substitution. Our experiments indicate that the ferroelectricity is perfectly compatible with having a superconducting two-dimensional electron system at the interface. This provides a promising avenue for manipulating superconductivity in a non centrosymmetric environment.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040059

Authors: Hans Bill

This contribution presents a personal account of the influence Karl Alex M&uuml;ller had on the early stages of my career and the scientific questions about which we exchanged our views over the years. While both our research branched into a variety of topics, the common experimental technique, Electron Paramagnetic Resonance, and the Jahn-Teller effect led to fruitful exchanges of ideas on these matters in semiconducting, metallic and ionic crystals.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040058

Authors: Wolfgang Kleemann Jan Dec Alexander Tkach Paula M. Vilarinho

The purpose of this selective review is primarily to demonstrate the large versatility of the insulating quantum paraelectric perovskite SrTiO3 explained in &ldquo;Introduction&rdquo; part, and &ldquo;Routes of SrTiO3 toward ferroelectricity and other collective states&rdquo; part. Apart from ferroelectricity under various boundary conditions, it exhibits regular electronic and superconductivity via doping or external fields and is capable of displaying diverse coupled states. &ldquo;Magnetoelectric multiglass (Sr,Mn)TiO3&rdquo; part, deals with mesoscopic physics of the solid solution SrTiO3:Mn2+. It is at the origin of both polar and spin cluster glass forming and is altogether a novel multiferroic system. Independent transitions at different glass temperatures, power law dynamic criticality, divergent third-order susceptibilities, and higher order magneto-electric interactions are convincing fingerprints.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040057

Authors: S. Javad Rezvani Nicola Pinto Roberto Gunnella Alessandro D’Elia Augusto Marcelli Andrea Di Cicco

Structural and electronic properties of silicon nanowires with pre-designed structures are investigated. Wires with distinct structure were investigated via advanced spectroscopic techniques such as X-ray absorption spectroscopy and Raman scattering as well as transport measurements. We show that wire structures can be engineered with metal assisted etching fabrication process via the catalytic solution ratios as well as changing doping type and level. In this way unique well-defined electronic configurations and density of states are obtained in the synthesized wires leading to different charge carrier and phonon dynamics in addition to photoluminescence modulations. We demonstrate that the electronic properties of these structures depend by the final geometry of these systems as determined by the synthesis process. These wires are characterized by a large internal surface and a modulated DOS with a significantly high number of surface states within the band structure. The results improve the understanding of the different electronic structures of these semiconducting nanowires opening new possibilities of future advanced device designs.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040056

Authors: Boris I. Kochelaev

Both phenomena mentioned in the title were revealed by the electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) method. The first phenomenon was found in superconducting La metal with Er impurities&mdash;the spin relaxation rate of the erbium impurities was sharply decreasing after transition into the superconducting state instead of the expected, i.e., the well-known Hebel&ndash;Slichter peak. The second unexpected phenomenon was discovered in the YbRh2Si2 compound&mdash;an excellent EPR signal from the Yb ions was observed at temperatures below the Kondo temperature determined thermodynamically, while according to the existing belief the EPR signal should not be observed at these temperatures due to the Kondo effect. In this tribute to K. Alex M&uuml;ller, I describe the nature of the detected phenomena.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5040055

Authors: Kazimierz Conder Albert Furrer Ekaterina Pomjakushina

The availability of high-quality and well characterized materials is a key factor for condensed-matter research [...]

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5030054

Authors: Chang-Yong Kim

GISAXS has been used to study morphology change of &alpha;-Fe2O3 nanocubes after annealing processes. A submonolayer of the nanocubes was deposited on a Si(100) substrate. While an annealing at 400 &deg;C in vacuum does not change a GISAXS pattern from as-prepared nanocubes submonolayer, subsequent annealing in air at the same temperature altered the GISAXS pattern significantly. SEM images showed that the air-annealed nanocubes were coated with thin layers which were identified as amorphous carbon layers based on Raman measurements. GISAXS simulations from morphologies of nanocube with 38 nm side-length and core-shell (nanocube-core and 7 nm thick carbon-shell) reproduced measured patterns from the vacuum- and the air-annealed nanocubes, respectively. The current study provides new approach for in-situ characterization of carbon deposition on a uniform shape nanoparticle through monitoring of deposited carbon thickness.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5030053

Authors: Dorota Gotfryd Ekaterina Pärschke Krzysztof Wohlfeld Andrzej M. Oleś

Several realistic spin-orbital models for transition metal oxides go beyond the classical expectations and could be understood only by employing the quantum entanglement. Experiments on these materials confirm that spin-orbital entanglement has measurable consequences. Here, we capture the essential features of spin-orbital entanglement in complex quantum matter utilizing 1D spin-orbital model which accommodates SU(2)&otimes;SU(2) symmetric Kugel-Khomskii superexchange as well as the Ising on-site spin-orbit coupling. Building on the results obtained for full and effective models in the regime of strong spin-orbit coupling, we address the question whether the entanglement found on superexchange bonds always increases when the Ising spin-orbit coupling is added. We show that (i) quantum entanglement is amplified by strong spin-orbit coupling and, surprisingly, (ii) almost classical disentangled states are possible. We complete the latter case by analyzing how the entanglement existing for intermediate values of spin-orbit coupling can disappear for higher values of this coupling.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5030052

Authors: Suresh C. Sharma Vivek Khichar Hussein Akafzade Douglas Zinn Nader Hozhabri

We have conducted in situ measurements of the surface plasmons and electrical resistivity of noble metal thin films. We present results for the electrical resistivity of these materials as functions of the angle of incidence for p-polarized light of wavelength &lambda; = 632 nm in the Kretschmann configuration optical system. We observe a significantly lower resistivity (higher conductivity) under resonance conditions for the surface plasmon polaritons. The resistivity data are supported by COMSOL simulations of the evanescent fields associated with the surface plasmons. We discuss the resistivity data in terms of the theoretical models, which suggest that the electrical conductivity of the transition metals is sensitive to Umklapp electron-electron scattering and attractive interactions between free electrons because of the screening of the d-band electrons by the s-band electrons.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5030051

Authors: Alla Vilk Irina Legchenkova Mark Frenkel Edward Bormashenko

Spiral thermal surface waves arising from self-propulsion of the camphor-driven objects are reported. Spiral thermal waves were registered for dissolution and evaporation-guided self-propulsion. Soluto-capillarity is accompanied by thermo-capillarity under self-propulsion of camphor boats. The jump in the surface tension due to the soluto-capillarity is much larger than that due to the thermo-capillarity. The spiral patterns inherent for the surface thermal waves are imposed by the self-rotational motion of camphor grains. The observed thermal effect is related to the adsorption of camphor molecules at the water/vapor interface. The observed spirals are shaped as Archimedean ones.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5030050

Authors: Rustem Khasanov Alexander Shengelaya Roland Brütsch Hugo Keller

The temperature dependencies of the in-plane (&lambda;ab) and out-of-plane (&lambda;c) components of the magnetic field penetration depth were investigated near the surface and in the bulk of the electron-doped superconductor Sr0.9La0.1CuO2 by means of magnetization measurements. The measured &lambda;ab(T) and &lambda;c(T) were analyzed in terms of a two-gap model with mixed s+d-wave symmetry of the order parameter. &lambda;ab(T) is well described by an almost pure anisotropic d-wave symmetry component (≃96%), mainly reflecting the surface properties of the sample. In contrast, &lambda;c(T) exhibits a mixed s+d-wave order parameter with a substantial s-wave component of more than 50%. The comparison of &lambda;ab&minus;2(T) measured near the surface with that determined in the bulk by means of the muon-spin rotation/relaxation technique demonstrates that the suppression of the s-wave component of the order parameter near the surface is associated with a reduction of the superfluid density by more than a factor of two.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5030049

Authors: Stefano Bellucci Andrii Bendziak Oleksandr Vernyhor Volodymyr M. Fitio

Calculations of the field distribution in the structure of the dielectric substrate/buffer layer/volume phase grating/analyzed medium were performed. It is shown that in the presence of a buffer layer with a low refractive index in the dielectric waveguide leads to a shift of the maximum field at the waveguide resonance into analyzed medium. As a result, the spectral and angular sensitivity of the corresponding sensor increases. Based on the waveguide equation, analytical expressions are obtained that connect the spectral and angular sensitivity of the sensor to the sensitivity of the propagation constant change due to the refractive index change of the analyzed medium. The conditions for the excitation of the resonance of surface plasmon&ndash;polariton waves in the structure with a metal or dielectric grating on a metal substrate are also given. The fields that occur at resonance for silver and gold gratings are calculated.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5030048

Authors: Samir F. Matar

From density functional theory investigations helped with crystal chemistry rationale, single-atom C, embedded in layered hexagonal CC&rsquo;n (n = 6, 12 and 18) networks, is stable in a magnetic state with M(C) = 2 &mu;B. The examined compositions, all inscribed within the P6/mmm space group are characterized as increasingly cohesive with n, figuring mono-, bi- and tri-layered honeycomb-like C&rsquo;6 networks respectively. The spin projected total density of states shows a closely half-metallic behavior with a gap at minority spins (&darr;) and metallic majority spins (&uarr;). Such results together with the large C-C intersite separation and the integer 2 &mu;B magnetization, let us propose an intra-band mechanism of magnetic moment onset on carbon 2p states. Support is provided from complementary calculations assuming a C2C&rsquo;12 structure with planar 2C with d(C-C) = 2.46 &Aring; resulting into a lowering of the magnetization down to the 0.985 &mu;B/C atom and a ferromagnetic order arising from interband spin polarization on C where one nonbonding spin polarizes whereas the other is involved with the bonding with the other carbon. Illustration of proofs is provided with the magnetic charge density projected onto the different atoms, showing its prevalence around C, contrary to the C&rsquo;n (C&rsquo;6 layers), as well as electron localization function ELF.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5030047

Authors: Annalisa D’Arco Luca Tomarchio Valerio Dolci Paola Di Pietro Andrea Perucchi Sen Mou Massimo Petrarca Stefano Lupi

HMQ-TMS (2-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxystyryl)-1-methylquinolinium 2,4,6-trimethylbenzenesulfonate) is a recently discovered anisotropic organic crystal that can be exploited for the production of broadband high-intensity terahertz (THz) radiation through the optical rectification (OR) technique. HMQ-TMS plays a central role in THz technology due to its broad transparency range, large electro-optic coefficient and coherence length, and excellent crystal properties. However, its anisotropic optical properties have not been deeply researched yet. Here, from polarized reflectance and transmittance measurements along the x 1 and x 3 axes of a HMQ-TMS single-crystal, we extract both the refraction index n and the extinction coefficient k between 50 and 35,000 cm &minus; 1 . We further measure the THz radiation generated by optical rectification at different infrared (IR) wavelengths and along the two x 1 and x 3 axes. These data highlight the remarkable anisotropic linear and nonlinear optical behavior of HMQ-TMS crystals, expanding the knowledge of its properties and applications from the THz to the UV region.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5030046

Authors: Alan R. Bishop

In this tribute to K Alex M&uuml;ller, I describe how his early insights have influenced future decades of research on perovskite ferroelectrics and more broadly transition metal oxides (TMOs) and related quantum materials. I use his influence on my own research journey to discuss impacts in three areas: structural phase transitions, precursor structure, and quantum paraelectricity. I emphasize materials functionality in ground, metastable, and excited states arising from competitions among lattice, charge, and spin degrees of freedom, which results in highly tunable landscapes and complex networks of multiscale configurations controlling macroscopic functions. I discuss competitions between short- and long-range forces as particularly important in TMOs (and related materials classes) because of their localized and directional metal orbitals and the polarizable oxygen ions. I emphasize crucial consequences of elasticity and metal&ndash;oxygen charge transfer.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5030045

Authors: Alberto Tufaile Michael Snyder Timm A. Vanderelli Adriana Pedrosa Biscaia Tufaile

We have explored some features of the complex fluids present in Earth&rsquo;s atmosphere by the observation of some optical phenomena and compared them to the optical phenomena observed in gems and magnetic materials. The main feature of a complex fluid is that it contains polyatomic structures such as polymer molecules or colloidal grains. This paper includes some setups using tabletop experiments, which are intended to show concretely the principles discussed, giving a sense of how well the idealizations treated apply to the atmospheric systems. We have explored sundogs, light pillars, and the halo formation, which involve the existence of a certain structure in the atmospheric medium, resembling the structures observed in some types of gems and ferrofluids.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5030044

Authors: Thomas W. Kool

After my bachelor degree in chemistry with physics and mathematics (in Dutch kandidaatsexamen) at the University of Amsterdam, I chose to study for my master degree (in Dutch doctoraal) a physical chemistry direction [...]

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5030043

Authors: Reinhard K. Kremer Annette Bussmann-Holder Hugo Keller Robin Haunschild

We analyzed the publication output of one of the 1987 Nobel Prize awardees, K. Alex M&uuml;ller, using bibliometric methods. The time-dependent number of publications and citations and the network with respect to the coauthors and their affiliations was studied. Specifically, the citation history of the Nobel Prize awarded 1986 article on &ldquo;Possible high-temperature superconductivity in the Ba-La-Cu-O system&rdquo; has been evaluated in terms of the overall number of articles on superconductivity and the corresponding citations of other most frequently referenced articles. Thereby, a publication with &ldquo;delayed recognition&rdquo; was identified.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020042

Authors: Zurab Guguchia

In this contribution to the MDPI Condensed Matter issue in Honor of Nobel Laureate Professor K.A. M&uuml;ller I review recent experimental progress on magnetism of semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) from the local-magnetic probe point of view such as muon-spin rotation and discuss prospects for the creation of unique new device concepts with these materials. TMDs are the prominent class of layered materials, that exhibit a vast range of interesting properties including unconventional semiconducting, optical, and transport behavior originating from valley splitting. Until recently, this family has been missing one crucial member: magnetic semiconductor. The situation has changed over the past few years with the discovery of layered semiconducting magnetic crystals, for example CrI 3 and VI 2 . We have also very recently discovered unconventional magnetism in semiconducting Mo-based TMD systems 2H-MoTe 2 and 2H-MoSe 2 [Guguchia et. al., Science Advances 2018, 4(12)]. Moreover, we also show the evidence for the involvement of magnetism in semiconducting tungsten diselenide 2H-WSe 2 . These results open a path to studying the interplay of 2D physics, semiconducting properties and magnetism in TMDs. It also opens up a host of new opportunities to obtain tunable magnetic semiconductors, forming the basis for spintronics.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020041

Authors: Sandro Wimberger

This editorial remembers Shmuel Fishman, one of the founding fathers of the research field &ldquo;quantum chaos&rdquo;, and puts into context his contributions to the scientific community with respect to the twelve papers that form the special issue.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020040

Authors: Enrica Chiadroni Alessandro Cianchi Massimo Ferrario Andrea Mostacci Riccardo Pompili Vladimir Shpakov

Ultra-short electron bunches, such as those delivered by a high-brightness photo-injector, are suitable to produce high peak power THz radiation, both broad and narrow band, with sub-picosecond down to femtosecond pulse shaping. The features of this kind of source in the THz range of the electromagnetic spectrum are extremely appealing for frequency- and time-domain experiments in a wide variety of fields. The present manuscript will overview the method of generation and characterization of THz radiation produced by high-brightness electron beams, as those available at the SPARC_LAB test facility.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020039

Authors: Wei-Chi Chiu Bahadur Singh Sougata Mardanya Johannes Nokelainen Amit Agarwal Hsin Lin Christopher Lane Katariina Pussi Bernardo Barbiellini Arun Bansil

Bismuth has recently attracted interest in connection with Na-ion battery anodes due to its high volumetric capacity. It reacts with Na to form Na 3 Bi which is a prototypical Dirac semimetal with a nontrivial electronic structure. Density-functional-theory based first-principles calculations are playing a key role in understanding the fascinating electronic structure of Na 3 Bi and other topological materials. In particular, the strongly-constrained-and-appropriately-normed (SCAN) meta-generalized-gradient-approximation (meta-GGA) has shown significant improvement over the widely used generalized-gradient-approximation (GGA) scheme in capturing energetic, structural, and electronic properties of many classes of materials. Here, we discuss the electronic structure of Na 3 Bi within the SCAN framework and show that the resulting Fermi velocities and s-band shift around the &Gamma; point are in better agreement with experiments than the corresponding GGA predictions. SCAN yields a purely spin-orbit-coupling (SOC) driven Dirac semimetal state in Na 3 Bi in contrast with the earlier GGA results. Our analysis reveals the presence of a topological phase transition from the Dirac semimetal to a trivial band insulator phase in Na 3 Bi x Sb 1 &minus; x alloys as the strength of the SOC varies with Sb content, and gives insight into the role of the SOC in modulating conduction properties of Na 3 Bi.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020038

Authors: Akinori Irizawa Masaki Fujimoto Keigo Kawase Ryukou Kato Hidenori Fujiwara Atsushi Higashiya Salvatore Macis Luca Tomarchio Stefano Lupi Augusto Marcelli Shigemasa Suga

Using the unique characteristics of the free-electron-laser (FEL), we successfully performed high-sensitivity spectral imaging of different materials in the terahertz (THz) and far-infrared (FIR) domain. THz imaging at various wavelengths was achieved using in situ spectroscopy by means of this wavelength tunable and monochromatic source. In particular, owing to its large intensity and directionality, we could collect high-sensitivity transmission imaging of extremely low-transparency materials and three-dimensional objects in the 3&ndash;6 THz range. By accurately identifying the intrinsic absorption wavelength of organic and inorganic materials, we succeeded in the mapping of spatial distribution of individual components. This simple imaging technique using a focusing optics and a raster scan modality has made it possible to set up and carry out fast spectral imaging experiments on different materials in this radiation facility.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020037

Authors: Dmitri V. Khveshchenko

We study a putative (strange) metal-to-insulator transition in a granular array of the Sachdev&ndash;Ye&ndash;Kitaev (SYK) quantum dots, each occupied by a large number N ≫ 1 of charge-carrying fermions. Extending the previous studies, we complement the SYK couplings by the physically relevant Coulomb interactions and focus on the effects of charge fluctuations, evaluating the conductivity and density of states. The latter were found to demonstrate marked changes of behavior when the effective inter-site tunneling became comparable to the renormalized Coulomb energy, thereby signifying the transition in question.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020036

Authors: Giulia Venditti Ilaria Maccari Marco Grilli Sergio Caprara

Some two-dimensional superconductors like, e.g., LaAlO 3 /SrTiO 3 heterostructures or thin films of transition metal dichalcogenides, display peculiar properties that can be understood in terms of electron inhomogeneity at the nanoscale. In this framework, unusual features of the metal-superconductor transition have been interpreted as due to percolative effects within a network of superconducting regions embedded in a metallic matrix. In this work we use a mean-field-like effective medium approach to investigate the superconducting phase below the critical temperature T c at which the resistivity vanishes. Specifically, we consider the finite frequency impedance of the system to extract the dissipative part of the conductance and the superfluid stiffness in the superconducting state. Intriguing effects arise from the metallic character of the embedding matrix: upon decreasing the temperature below T c proximity effects may rapidly increase the superfluid stiffness. Then, a rather fragile superconducting state, living on a filamentary network just below T c , can be substantially consolidated by additional superconducting regions induced by proximity effect in the interstitial metallic regions. This mean-field prediction should call for further theoretical analyses and trigger experimental investigations of the superconducting properties of the above systems.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020035

Authors: Haggai Landa Cecilia Cormick Giovanna Morigi

We theoretically analyse the equation of topological solitons in a chain of particles interacting via a repulsive power-law potential and confined by a periodic lattice. Starting from the discrete model, we perform a gradient expansion and obtain the kink equation in the continuum limit for a power-law exponent n &ge; 1 . The power-law interaction modifies the sine-Gordon equation, giving rise to a rescaling of the coefficient multiplying the second derivative (the kink width) and to an additional integral term. We argue that the integral term does not affect the local properties of the kink, but it governs the behaviour at the asymptotics. The kink behaviour at the center is dominated by a sine-Gordon equation and its width tends to increase with the power law exponent. When the interaction is the Coulomb repulsion, in particular, the kink width depends logarithmically on the chain size. We define an appropriate thermodynamic limit and compare our results with existing studies performed for infinite chains. Our formalism allows one to systematically take into account the finite-size effects and also slowly varying external potentials, such as for instance the curvature in an ion trap.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020034

Authors: Takeshi Sakai Ken Hayakawa Toshinari Tanaka Yasushi Hayakawa Kyoko Nogami Norihiro Sei

This study presents a novel technology to measure electron bunch length with a high time resolution by measuring coherent synchrotron radiation using a narrow-band detector at Laboratory for Electron Beam Research and Application (LEBRA)&mdash;an S-band linear accelerator facility for free-electron lasers. The form factor was observed to decrease exponentially with charge&mdash;in concordance with the relationship between the intensity of the coherent synchrotron radiation and the magnitude of electron bunch charge&mdash;in the region in which the effect of electron bunch charge on bunch length is negligible. The calculated root-mean-square bunch length was observed to agree well with the value determined from the spectral shape obtained. The aforementioned results are expected to be useful in real-time observation of small changes in electron bunches in advanced accelerators.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020033

Authors: S. Javad Rezvani Daniele Di Gioacchino Claudio Gatti Carlo Ligi Mariangela Cestelli Guidi Sara Cibella Matteo Fretto Nicola Poccia Stefano Lupi Augusto Marcelli

We present here an innovative photon detector based on the proximity junction array device (PAD) working at long wavelengths. We show that the vortex dynamics in PAD undergoes a transition from a Mott insulator to a vortex metal state by application of an external magnetic field. The PAD also evidences a Josephson I-V characteristic with the external field dependent tunneling current. At high applied currents, we observe a dissipative regime in which the vortex dynamics is dominated by the quasi-particle contribution from the normal metal. The PAD has a relatively high photo-response even at frequencies below the expected characteristic frequency while, its superconducting properties such as the order parameter and the Josephson characteristic frequency can be modulated via external fields to widen the detection band. This device represents a promising and reliable candidate for new high-sensitivity long-wavelength detectors.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020032

Authors: Ekhard K. H. Salje

Superconducting domain boundaries were found in WO3-x and doped WO3. The charge carriers in WO3-type materials were identified by Schirmer and Salje as bipolarons. Several previous attempts to determine the electronic properties of polarons in WO3 failed until Bousque et al. (2020) reported a full first principle calculation of free polarons in WO3. They confirmed the model of Schirmer and Salje that each single polaron is centred around one tungsten position with surplus charges smeared over the adjacent eight tungsten positions. Small additional charges are distributed further apart. Further calculations to clarify the coupling mechanism between polaron to form bipolarons are not yet available. These calculations would help to identify the carrier distribution in Magneli clusters, which were shown recently to contain high carrier concentrations and may indicate totally localized superconductivity in non-percolating clusters.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020031

Authors: Cosetta Baroni Giacomo Gori Maria Luisa Chiofalo Andrea Trombettoni

We study the non-linear beam splitter in matter-wave interferometers using ultracold quantum gases in a double-well configuration in presence of non-local interactions inducing inter-well density-density coupling, as they can be realized, e.g., with dipolar gases. We explore this effect after considering different input states, in the form of either coherent, or Twin-Fock, or NOON states. We first review the non-interacting limit and the case in which only the local interaction is present, including the study of sensitivity near the self-trapping threshold. Then, we consider the two-mode model in the presence of inter-well interactions and consider the scaling of the sensitivity as a function of the non-local coupling strength. Our analysis clearly shows that non-local interactions can compensate the degradation of the sensitivity induced by local interactions, so that they may be used to restore optimal sensitivity.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020030

Authors: Victor D. Lakhno

A translation-invariant (TI) bipolaron theory of superconductivity based, like Bardeen&ndash;Cooper&ndash;Schrieffer theory, on Fr&ouml;hlich Hamiltonian is presented. Here the role of Cooper pairs belongs to TI bipolarons which are pairs of spatially delocalized electrons whose correlation length of a coupled state is small. The presence of Fermi surface leads to the stabilization of such states in its vicinity and a possibility of their Bose&ndash;Einstein condensation (BEC). The theory provides a natural explanation of the existence of a pseudogap phase preceding the superconductivity and enables one to estimate the temperature of a transition T * from a normal state to a pseudogap one. It is shown that the temperature of BEC of TI bipolarons determines the temperature of a superconducting transition T c which depends not on the bipolaron effective mass but on the ordinary mass of a band electron. This removes restrictions on the upper limit of T c for a strong electron-phonon interaction. A natural explanation is provided for the angular dependence of the superconducting gap which is determined by the angular dependence of the phonon spectrum. It is demonstrated that a lot of experiments on thermodynamic and transport characteristics, Josephson tunneling and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) of high-temperature superconductors does not contradict the concept of a TI bipolaron mechanism of superconductivity in these materials. Possible ways of enhancing T c and producing new room-temperature superconductors are discussed on the basis of the theory suggested.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020029

Authors: Mariangela Lopreiato Alessia Mariano Rossana Cocchiola Giovanni Longo Pietro Dalla Vedova Roberto Scandurra Anna Scotto d’Abusco

Cell culture is usually performed in 2D polymer surfaces; however, several studies are conducted with the aim to screen functional coating molecules to find substrates more suitable for cell adhesion and proliferation. The aim of this manuscript is to compare the cell adhesion and cytoskeleton organization of different cell types on different surfaces. Human primary fibroblasts, chondrocytes and osteoblasts isolated from patients undergoing surgery were seeded on polystyrene, poly-d-lysine-coated glass and titanium carbide slides and left to grow for several days. Then their cytoskeleton was analyzed, both by staining cells with phalloidin, which highlights actin fibers, and using Atomic Force Microscopy. We also monitored the production of Fibroblast Growth Factor-2, Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 and Osteocalcin, using ELISA, and we highlighted production of Collagen type I in fibroblasts and osteoblasts and Collagen type II in chondrocytes by immunofluorescences. Fibroblasts, chondrocytes and osteoblasts showed both an improved proliferative activity and a good adhesion ability when cultured on titanium carbide slides, compared to polystyrene and poly-d-lysine-coated glass. In conclusion, we propose titanium carbide as a suitable surface to cultivate cells such as fibroblasts, chondrocytes and osteoblasts, allowing the preservation of their differentiated state and good adhesion properties.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020028

Authors: Yuka Ikemoto Manako Tanaka Tomohiro Higuchi Toshirou Semba Taro Moriwaki Emi Kawasaki Masayoshi Okuyama

Infrared synchrotron radiation (IR-SR) is a broad-band light source. Its brilliance is the main advantage for microspectroscopy experiments, when the limited size of the sample often prevents the use of conventional thermal radiation sources. Cultural heritage materials are delicate and valuable; therefore, nondestructive experiments are usually preferred. Nevertheless, sometimes, small pieces can be acquired in the process of preservation and conservation. These samples are analyzed by various experimental techniques and give information about the original material and current condition. In this paper, four attempts to analyze cultural heritage materials are introduced. All these experiments are performed at the microspectroscopy station of IR beamline BL43IR in SPring-8.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020027

Authors: Rajveer Jha Yoshikazu Mizuguchi

Since 2012, layered compounds containing Bi-Ch (Ch: S and Se) layers have been extensively studied in the field of superconductivity. The most-studied system is BiS2-based superconductors with two-layer-type conducting layers. Recently, superconductivity was observed in La2O2M2S6 (M = metals), which contains four-layer-type conducting layers. The four-layer-type Bi-based superconductors are new systems in the family of Bi-based superconductors; we can expect further development of Bi-based layered superconductors. In this review article, we summarize the progress of synthesis, structural analysis, investigations on superconducting properties, and material design of the four-layer-type Bi-based superconductors. In-plane chemical pressure is the factor essential for the emergence of bulk superconductivity in the system. The highest Tc of 4.1 K was observed in Rare Earth elements (RE) substituted La2-xRExO2Bi3Ag0.6Sn0.4S6.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020026

Authors: Maximilian Nitsch Benjamin Geiger Klaus Richter Juan-Diego Urbina

We identify a (pseudo) relativistic spin-dependent analogue of the celebrated quantum phase transition driven by the formation of a bright soliton in attractive one-dimensional bosonic gases. In this new scenario, due to the simultaneous existence of the linear dispersion and the bosonic nature of the system, special care must be taken with the choice of energy region where the transition takes place. Still, due to a crucial adiabatic separation of scales, and identified through extensive numerical diagonalization, a suitable effective model describing the transition is found. The corresponding mean-field analysis based on this effective model provides accurate predictions for the location of the quantum phase transition when compared against extensive numerical simulations. Furthermore, we numerically investigate the dynamical exponents characterizing the approach from its finite-size precursors to the sharp quantum phase transition in the thermodynamic limit.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020025

Authors: Annalisa D’Arco Marta Di Fabrizio Valerio Dolci Massimo Petrarca Stefano Lupi

Recent advances in technology have allowed the production and the coherent detection of sub-ps pulses of terahertz (THz) radiation. Therefore, the potentialities of this technique have been readily recognized for THz spectroscopy and imaging in biomedicine. In particular, THz pulsed imaging (TPI) has rapidly increased its applications in the last decade. In this paper, we present a short review of TPI, discussing its basic principles and performances, and its state-of-the-art applications on biomedical systems.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020024

Authors: Ulrich Schade Peter Kuske Jongseok Lee Barbara Marchetti Michele Ortolani

Coherent synchrotron radiation from an electron storage ring is observed in the THz spectral range when the bunch length is shortened down to the sub-mm-range. With increasing stored current, the bunch becomes longitudinally unstable and modulates the THz emission in the time domain. These micro-instabilities are investigated at the electron storage ring BESSY II by means of cross-correlation of the THz fields from successive bunches. The investigations allow deriving the longitudinal length scale of the micro bunch fluctuations and show that it grows faster than the current-dependent bunch length. Our findings will help to set the limits for the possible time resolution for pump-probe experiments achieved with coherent THz synchrotron radiation from a storage ring.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5020023

Authors: Antonio Bianconi Augusto Marcelli Gaetano Campi Andrea Perali

Here, we focus on the data analysis of the growth of epidemic spread of Covid-19 in countries where different policies of containment were activated. It is known that the growth of pandemic spread at its threshold is exponential, but it is not known how to quantify the success of different containment policies. We identify that a successful approach gives an arrested phase regime following the Ostwald growth, where, over the course of time, one phase transforms into another metastable phase with a similar free energy as observed in oxygen interstitial diffusion in quantum complex matter and in crystallization of proteins. We introduce the s factor which provides a quantitative measure of the efficiency and speed of the adopted containment policy, which is very helpful not only to monitor the Covid-19 pandemic spread but also for other countries to choose the best containment policy. The results show that a policy based on joint confinement, targeted tests, and tracking positive cases is the most rapid pandemic containment policy; in fact, we found values of 9, 5, and 31 for the success s factor for China, South Korea, and Italy, respectively, where the lowest s factor indicates the best containment policy.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5010022

Authors: Sara Conti David Neilson François M. Peeters Andrea Perali

Condensation of spatially indirect excitons, with the electrons and holes confined in two separate layers, has recently been observed in two different double layer heterostructures. High transition temperatures were reported in a double Transition Metal Dichalcogenide (TMD) monolayer system. We briefly review electron-hole double layer systems that have been proposed as candidates for this interesting phenomenon. We investigate the double TMD system WSe 2 /hBN/MoSe 2 , using a mean-field approach that includes multiband effects due to the spin-orbit coupling and self-consistent screening of the electron-hole Coulomb interaction. We demonstrate that the transition temperature observed in the double TMD monolayers, which is remarkably high relative to the other systems, is the result of (i) the large electron and hole effective masses in TMDs, (ii) the large TMD band gaps, and (iii) the presence of multiple superfluid condensates in the TMD system. The net effect is that the superfluidity is strong across a wide range of densities, which leads to high transition temperatures that extend as high as T B K T = 150 K.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5010021

Authors: Alessia Burchianti Chiara D’Errico Marco Prevedelli Luca Salasnich Francesco Ancilotto Michele Modugno Francesco Minardi Chiara Fort

We report on the production of a 41 K- 87 Rb dual-species Bose&ndash;Einstein condensate with tunable interspecies interaction and we study the mixture in the attractive regime; i.e., for negative values of the interspecies scattering length a 12 . The binary condensate is prepared in the ground state and confined in a pure optical trap. We exploit Feshbach resonances for tuning the value of a 12 . After compensating the gravitational sag between the two species with a magnetic field gradient, we drive the mixture into the attractive regime. We let the system evolve both in free space and in an optical waveguide. In both geometries, for strong attractive interactions, we observe the formation of self-bound states, recognizable as quantum droplets. Our findings prove that robust, long-lived droplet states can be realized in attractive two-species mixtures, despite the two atomic components possibly experiencing different potentials.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5010020

Authors: Elad Shamriz Zhaopin Chen Boris A. Malomed Hidetsugu Sakaguchi

This article provides a focused review of recent findings which demonstrate, in some cases quite counter-intuitively, the existence of bound states with a singularity of the density pattern at the center; the states are physically meaningful because their total norm converges. One model of this type is based on the 2D Gross&ndash;Pitaevskii equation (GPE), which combines the attractive potential &sim; r &minus; 2 and the quartic self-repulsive nonlinearity, induced by the Lee&ndash;Huang&ndash;Yang effect (quantum fluctuations around the mean-field state). The GPE demonstrates suppression of the 2D quantum collapse, driven by the attractive potential, and emergence of a stable ground state (GS), whose density features an integrable singularity &sim; r &minus; 4 / 3 at r &rarr; 0 . Modes with embedded angular momentum exist too, but they are unstable. A counter-intuitive peculiarity of the model is that the GS exists even if the sign of the potential is reversed from attraction to repulsion, provided that its strength is small enough. This peculiarity finds a relevant explanation. The other model outlined in the review includes 1D, 2D, and 3D GPEs, with the septimal (seventh-order), quintic, and cubic self-repulsive terms, respectively. These equations give rise to stable singular solitons, which represent the GS for each dimension D, with the density singularity &sim; r &minus; 2 / ( 4 &minus; D ) . Such states may be considered the results of screening a &ldquo;bare&rdquo; delta-functional attractive potential by the respective nonlinearities.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5010019

Authors: Katariina Pussi Juan Gallo Koji Ohara Enrique Carbo-Argibay Yury V. Kolen’ko Bernardo Barbiellini Arun Bansil Saeed Kamali

The structure of nanoparticles has been difficult to determine accurately because the traditional structure methods rely on large monocrystals. Here, we discuss the structure of nanoparticles based on real-space modeling of the pair distribution function obtained by a Fourier transformation of the high-energy X-ray scattering structure factor. In particular, we consider X-ray scattering data taken from colloidal manganese oxide nanoparticles used in Lithium-ion batteries, air-purification, and biomedical systems, which are known to exist in various nanometer-sized polymorphs. Insight is thus obtained into characterizing the structural relaxation of the MnO6 octahedra, which are the key building blocks of oxide nanoparticles, important in many technologies.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5010018

Authors: Simon Evertz Stephan Prünte Lena Patterer Amalraj Marshal Damian M. Holzapfel Alexander Schökel Marcus Hans Daniel Primetzhofer Jochen M. Schneider

Due to their unique property combination of high strength and toughness, metallic glasses are promising materials for structural applications. As the behaviour of metallic glasses depends on the electronic structure which in turn is defined by chemical composition, we systematically investigate the influence of B concentration on glass transition, topology, magnetism, and bonding for B concentrations x = 2 to 92 at.% in the (Co6.8&plusmn;3.9Ta)100&minus;xBx system. From an electronic structure and coordination point of view, the B concentration range is divided into three regions: Below 39 &plusmn; 5 at.% B, the material is a metallic glass due to the dominance of metallic bonds. Above 69 &plusmn; 6 at.%, the presence of an icosahedra-like B network is observed. As the B concentration is increased above 39 &plusmn; 5 at.%, the B network evolves while the metallic coordination of the material decreases until the B concentration of 67 &plusmn; 5 at.% is reached. Hence, a composite is formed. It is evident that, based on the B concentration, the ratio of metallic bonding to icosahedral bonding in the composite can be controlled. It is proposed that, by tuning the coordination in the composite region, glassy materials with defined plasticity and processability can be designed.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5010017

Authors: Guido Giachetti Stefano Gherardini Andrea Trombettoni Stefano Ruffo

We study the statistics of energy fluctuations in a three-level quantum system subject to a sequence of projective quantum measurements. We check that, as expected, the quantum Jarzynski equality holds provided that the initial state is thermal. The latter condition is trivially satisfied for two-level systems, while this is generally no longer true for N-level systems, with N &gt; 2 . Focusing on three-level systems, we discuss the occurrence of a unique energy scale factor &beta; eff that formally plays the role of an effective inverse temperature in the Jarzynski equality. To this aim, we introduce a suitable parametrization of the initial state in terms of a thermal and a non-thermal component. We determine the value of &beta; eff for a large number of measurements and study its dependence on the initial state. Our predictions could be checked experimentally in quantum optics.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5010016

Authors: Salvatore Macis Luca Tomarchio Silvia Tofani S. Javad Rezvani Luigi Faillace Stefano Lupi Akinori Irizawa Augusto Marcelli

In this work, we show the damage induced by an intense coherent terahertz (THz) beam on copper surfaces. The metallic surface was irradiated by multiple picosecond THz pulses generated by the Free Electron Laser (FEL) at the ISIR facility of the Osaka University, reaching an electric field on the sample surface up to ~4 GV/m. No damage occurs at normal incidence, while images and spectroscopic analysis of the surface point out a clear dependence of the damage on the incidence angle, the electric field intensity, and polarization of the pulsed THz radiation. Ab initio analysis shows that the damage at high incidence angles could be related to the increase of the absorbance, i.e., to the increase of the temperature around or above 1000 &deg;C. The experimental approach we introduced with multiple fast irradiations represents a new powerful technique useful to test, in a reproducible way, the damage induced by an intense electric gradient on copper and other metallic surfaces in view of future THz-based compact particle accelerators.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5010015

Authors: Roberta Citro Stefania De Palo Nicolas Victorin Anna Minguzzi Edmond Orignac

We calculate the spectral function of a boson ladder in an artificial magnetic field by means of analytic approaches based on bosonization and Bogoliubov theory. We discuss the evolution of the spectral function at increasing effective magnetic flux, from the Meissner to the Vortex phase, focussing on the effects of incommensurations in momentum space. At low flux, in the Meissner phase, the spectral function displays both a gapless branch and a gapped one, while at higher flux, in the Vortex phase, the spectral function displays two gapless branches and the spectral weight is shifted at a wavevector associated to the underlying vortex spatial structure, which can indicate a supersolid-like behavior. While the Bogoliubov theory, valid at weak interactions, predicts sharp delta-like features in the spectral function, at stronger interactions we find power-law broadening of the spectral functions due to quantum fluctuations as well as additional spectral weight at higher momenta due to backscattering and incommensuration effects. These features could be accessed in ultracold atom experiments using radio-frequency spectroscopy techniques.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5010014

Authors: Masayoshi Katsuno Rajveer Jha Kazuhisa Hoshi Ryota Sogabe Yosuke Goto Yoshikazu Mizuguchi

We have investigated the Pb-substitution effect upon the superconductivity of NaCl-type In1&minus;xPbxTe. Polycrystalline samples with x = 0&ndash;0.8 were synthesized using high-pressure synthesis. The lattice parameter was systematically increased by Pb substitution. For x &le; 0.6, bulk superconductivity was observed, and the superconducting transition temperature increased from 3 K (for InTe) to 5 K by Pb substitutions. From analyses of specific heat jumps at the superconducting transition, conventional (phonon-mediated) weak-coupling pairing mechanisms were suggested for In1&minus;xPbxTe.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5010013

Authors: Lars-Paul Lumbeeck Jacques Tempere Serghei Klimin

We calculate the sound velocity and the damping rate of the collective excitations of a 2D fermionic superfluid in a non-perturbative manner. Specifically, we focus on the Anderson&ndash;Bogoliubov excitations in the BEC-BCS crossover regime, as these modes have a sound-like dispersion at low momenta. The calculation is performed within the path-integral formalism and the Gaussian pair fluctuation approximation. From the action functional, we obtain the propagator of the collective excitations and determine their dispersion relation by locating the poles of this propagator. We find that there is only one kind of collective excitation, which is stable at T = 0 and has a sound velocity of v F / 2 for all binding energies, i.e., throughout the BEC-BCS crossover. As the temperature is raised, the sound velocity decreases and the damping rate shows a non-monotonous behavior: after an initial increase, close to the critical temperature T C the damping rate decreases again. In general, higher binding energies provide higher damping rates. Finally, we calculate the response functions and propose that they can be used as another way to determine the sound velocity.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5010012

Authors: Pieralberto Marchetti

We show that we can interpret the exact solution of the one-dimensional t-J model in the limit of small J in terms of charge carriers with both exchange (braid) and exclusion (Haldane) statistics with parameter 1/2. We discuss an implementation of the same statistics in the two-dimensional t-J model, emphasizing similarities and differences with respect to one dimension. In both cases, the exclusion statistics is a consequence of the no-double occupation constraint. We argue that the application of this formalism to hole-doped high Tc cuprates and the derived composite nature of the hole give a hint to grasp many unusual properties of these materials.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5010011

Authors: Silvia Tofani Walter Fuscaldo

Terahertz (THz) radiation is a very appealing band of the electromagnetic spectrum due to its practical applications. In this context, the THz generation and manipulation is an essential part of the technological development. The demand of THz antennas is still high because it is already difficult to obtain directive, efficient, planar, low-cost, and easy-to-fabricate THz radiating systems. In this regard, Fabry-Perot cavity leaky-wave antennas are gaining increasing attention at THz, due to their very interesting radiating features: the combination of planar designs with metamaterials and metasurfaces could offer a promising platform for future THz manipulation technologies. In this short review, we focus on different classes of leaky-wave antennas, based on materials with tunable quasi-optical parameters. The possibility of producing directive patterns with particularly good efficiencies, as well as the capability of dynamically reconfiguring their radiating features, are discussed by taking into account the risk of increasing costs and fabrication complexity.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5010010

Authors: Hiroyuki Tajima Andrea Perali Pierbiagio Pieri

We investigate pairing fluctuation effects in a two band fermionic system, where a shallow band in the Bardeen&ndash;Cooper&ndash;Schrieffer&ndash;Bose&ndash;Einstein condensation (BCS-BEC) crossover regime is coupled with a weakly interacting deep band. Within a diagrammatic T matrix approach, we report how thermodynamic quantities such as the critical temperature, chemical potential, and momentum distributions undergo the crossover from the BCS to BEC regime by tuning the intraband coupling in the shallow band. We also generalize the definition of Tan&rsquo;s contact to a two band system and report the two contacts for different pair-exchange couplings. The present results are compared with those obtained by the simpler Nozi&egrave;res&ndash;Schmitt&ndash;Rink approximation. We confirm a pronounced enhancement of the critical temperature due to the multiband configuration, as well as to the pair-exchange coupling.

]]>Condensed Matter doi: 10.3390/condmat5010009

Authors: Andrea Passarelli Can Koral Maria Rosaria Masullo Wilhelmus Vollenberg Lucia Lain Amador Antonello Andreone

The electromagnetic characterisation of different materials for the inner wall coating of beam pipes is a long-standing problem in accelerator physics, regardless the purpose they are used for, since their presence may affect in an unpredictable way the beam coupling impedance and therefore the machine performance. Moreover, in particle accelerators and storage rings of new generation very short bunches might be required, extending far in frequency the exploration of the beam spectrum and rendering therefore more and more important to assess the coating material response up to hundreds of GHz. This paper describes a time domain method based on THz waveguide spectroscopy to infer the coating properties at very high frequencies. The technique has been tested on Non Evaporable Getter thick films deposited by DC magnetron sputtering on copper plates.

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