How to Turn a Metal Into an Insulator

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Locking up electrons

Solids are generally divided into metals, which conduct electricity, and insulators, which do not. Some oxides straddle this boundary, however: a material's structure and properties suggest it should be a metal, but it sometimes behaves as an insulator. Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara are digging into the mechanisms of this transformation and are aiming to harness it for use in novel electronic devices.

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How to Turn a Metal Into an Insulator2016-05-26T08:21:57+00:00

Crystals and Spintronics

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Made to order

Many solid materials have a crystal structure, with atoms that exist in a particular, organized arrangement. The degree of organization can vary among crystals, however. High-quality crystalline materials are the foundation of many familiar devices, such as integrated circuits and solar cells. A better understanding of these materials and how to produce them is important for developing new technologies.

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Crystals and Spintronics2016-03-10T09:20:18+00:00

Let There Be Light! (And a Little Bit of Magnetism)

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The wonderful world of complex oxides

One of the oldest and most studied materials in all of physics and materials science has been shown to display magnetism when illuminated with a certain type of light.

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Let There Be Light! (And a Little Bit of Magnetism)2017-06-08T15:32:36+00:00

Molecular Light Switch

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Just add water

A bit of stray moisture during an experiment tipped off scientists about the strange behavior of a complex oxide material they were studying—shedding light on its potential for improving chemical sensors, computing and information storage. In the presence of a water molecule on its surface, the layered material emits ultraviolet light from its interior.

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Molecular Light Switch2016-02-23T15:31:16+00:00