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Concept: Electrical resistance


A novel procedure for biopolymer surface nanostructuring with defined surface roughness and pattern dimension is presented. The surface properties of sputtered platinum layers on the biocompatible polymer poly(l-lactic acid) (PLLA) are presented. The influence of thermal treatment on surface morphology and electrical resistance and Pt distribution in ca. 100 nm of altered surface is described. The thickness, roughness and morphology of Pt structures were determined by atomic force microscopy. Surface sheet resistance was studied by a two-point technique. It was the sequence of Pt layer sputtering followed by thermal treatment that dramatically changed the structure of the PLLA’s surface. Depending on the Pt thickness, the ripple-like and worm-like patterns appeared on the surface for thinner and thicker Pt layers, respectively. Electrokinetic analysis confirmed the Pt coverage of PLLA and the slightly different behaviour of non-annealed and annealed surfaces. The amount and distribution of platinum on the PLLA is significantly altered by thermal annealing.

Concepts: Layer, Differential geometry, Friction, Electrical resistance, Resistivity, Annealing, Sheet resistance, Skin effect


Resistive random access memory based on the resistive switching phenomenon is emerging as a strong candidate for next generation non-volatile memory. So far, the resistive switching effect has been observed in many transition metal oxides, including strongly correlated ones, such as, cuprate superconductors, colossal magnetoresistant manganites and Mott insulators. However, up to now, no clear evidence of the possible relevance of strong correlation effects in the mechanism of resistive switching has been reported. Here, we study Pr0.7Ca0.3MnO3, which shows bipolar resistive switching. Performing micro-spectroscopic studies on its bare surface we are able to track the systematic electronic structure changes in both, the low and high resistance state. We find that a large change in the electronic conductance is due to field-induced oxygen vacancies, which drives a Mott metal-insulator transition at the surface. Our study demonstrates that strong correlation effects may be incorporated to the realm of the emerging oxide electronics.

Concepts: Oxygen, Oxide, Valence electron, Correlation and dependence, Superconductivity, Electrical resistance, Computer data storage, High-temperature superconductivity


Recently, superconductivity was found on semiconductor surface reconstructions induced by metal adatoms, promising a new field of research where superconductors can be studied from the atomic level.Here we measure the electron transport properties of the Si(111)-(¿7 × ¿3)-In surface near the resistive phase transition and analyze the data in terms of theories of two-dimensional (2D) superconductors.In the normal state, the sheet resistances (2D resistivities) R¿ of the samples decrease significantly between 20 and 5 K, suggesting the importance of the electron-electron scattering in electron transport phenomena.The decrease in R¿ is progressively accelerated just above the transition temperature (Tc) due to the direct (Aslamazov-Larkin term) and the indirect (Maki-Thompson term) superconducting fluctuation effects.A minute but finite resistance tail is found below Tc down to the lowest temperature of 1.8 K, which may be ascribed to a dissipation due to free vortex flow.The present study lays the ground for a future research aiming to find new superconductors in this class of materials.

Concepts: Quantum mechanics, Fundamental physics concepts, Condensed matter physics, Phase transition, Superconductivity, Electrical resistance, Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, History of superconductivity


Despite its widespread use in nanocomposites, the effect of embedding graphene in highly viscoelastic polymer matrices is not well understood. We added graphene to a lightly cross-linked polysilicone, often encountered as Silly Putty, changing its electromechanical properties substantially. The resulting nanocomposites display unusual electromechanical behavior, such as postdeformation temporal relaxation of electrical resistance and nonmonotonic changes in resistivity with strain. These phenomena are associated with the mobility of the nanosheets in the low-viscosity polymer matrix. By considering both the connectivity and mobility of the nanosheets, we developed a quantitative model that completely describes the electromechanical properties. These nanocomposites are sensitive electromechanical sensors with gauge factors >500 that can measure pulse, blood pressure, and even the impact associated with the footsteps of a small spider.

Concepts: Electromagnetism, Electrical resistance, Resistivity


Insulating states can be topologically nontrivial, a well-established notion that is exemplified by the quantum Hall effect and topological insulators. By contrast, topological metals have not been experimentally evidenced until recently. In systems with strong correlations, they have yet to be identified. Heavy-fermion semimetals are a prototype of strongly correlated systems and, given their strong spin-orbit coupling, present a natural setting to make progress. Here, we advance a Weyl-Kondo semimetal phase in a periodic Anderson model on a noncentrosymmetric lattice. The quasiparticles near the Weyl nodes develop out of the Kondo effect, as do the surface states that feature Fermi arcs. We determine the key signatures of this phase, which are realized in the heavy-fermion semimetal Ce3Bi4Pd3 Our findings provide the much-needed theoretical foundation for the experimental search of topological metals with strong correlations and open up an avenue for systematic studies of such quantum phases that naturally entangle multiple degrees of freedom.

Concepts: Quantum mechanics, Fundamental physics concepts, Condensed matter physics, Hall effect, Electrical resistance, Quantum spin Hall effect, Quantum Hall effect, Elementary charge


A simplified method for measuring the fluidic resistance (R(fluidic)) of microfluidic channels is presented, in which the electrical resistance (R(elec)) of a channel filled with a conductivity standard solution can be measured and directly correlated to R(fluidic) using a simple equation. Although a slight correction factor could be applied in this system to improve accuracy, results showed that a standard voltage meter could be used without calibration to determine R(fluidic) to within 12% error. Results accurate to within 2% were obtained when a geometric correction factor was applied using these particular channels. When compared to standard flow rate measurements, such as meniscus tracking in outlet tubing, this approach provided a more straightforward alternative and resulted in lower measurement error. The method was validated using 9 different fluidic resistance values (from ∼40 to 600kPasmm(-3)) and over 30 separately fabricated microfluidic devices. Furthermore, since the method is analogous to resistance measurements with a voltage meter in electrical circuits, dynamic R(fluidic) measurements were possible in more complex microfluidic designs. Microchannel R(elec) was shown to dynamically mimic pressure waveforms applied to a membrane in a variable microfluidic resistor. The variable resistor was then used to dynamically control aqueous-in-oil droplet sizes and spacing, providing a unique and convenient control system for droplet-generating devices. This conductivity-based method for fluidic resistance measurement is thus a useful tool for static or real-time characterization of microfluidic systems.

Concepts: Measurement, Metrology, Test method, Microfluidics, Measuring instrument, Electrical measurements, Electrical resistance, Ohmmeter


In this work, a flash light sintering process using silver nano-inks is investigated. A silver nano-ink pattern was printed on a flexible PET (polyethylene terephthalate) substrate using a gravure-offset printing system. The printed silver nano-ink was sintered at room temperature and under ambient conditions using a flash of light from a xenon lamp using an in-house flash light sintering system. In order to monitor the light sintering process, a Wheatstone bridge electrical circuit was devised and changes in the voltage difference of the silver nano-ink were recorded during the sintering process using an oscilloscope. The sheet resistance changes during the sintering process were monitored using the in situ monitoring system devised, under various light conditions (e.g. light energy, on-time and off-time duration, and pulse numbers). The microstructure of the sintered silver film and the interface between the silver film and the PET substrate were observed using a scanning electron microscope, a focused ion beam and an optical microscope. The electrical sheet resistances of the sintered silver films were measured using a four-point probe method. Using the in situ monitoring system devised, the flash light sintering mechanism was studied for each type of light pulse (e.g. evaporation of organic binder followed by the forming of a neck-like junction and its growth, etc).The optimal flash light sintering condition is suggested on the basis of the in situ monitoring results. The optimized flash light sintering process produces a silver film with a lower sheet resistance (0.95 Ω/sq) compared with that of the thermally sintered silver film (2.03 Ω/sq) without damaging the PET substrate or allowing interfacial delamination between the silver film and the PET substrate.

Concepts: Electron, Electron microscope, Microscope, Gold, Scanning electron microscope, Sintering, Electrical resistance, Focused ion beam


Investigating the structure of quantized plateaus in the Hall conductance of graphene is a powerful way of probing its crystalline and electronic structure and will also help to establish whether graphene can be used as a robust standard of resistance for quantum metrology. We use low-temperature scanning gate microscopy to image the interplateau breakdown of the quantum Hall effect in an exfoliated bilayer graphene flake. Scanning gate images captured during breakdown exhibit intricate patterns where the conductance is strongly affected by the presence of the scanning probe tip. The maximum density and intensity of the tip-induced conductance perturbations occur at half-integer filling factors, midway between consecutive quantum Hall plateau, while the intensity of individual sites shows a strong dependence on tip-voltage. Our results are well-described by a model based on quantum percolation which relates the points of high responsivity to tip-induced scattering in a network of saddle points separating localized states.

Concepts: Condensed matter physics, Graphene, Scanning probe microscopy, Hall effect, Electrical resistance, Quantum Hall effect, Quantum electronics, Quantization


We report highly transparent and low resistive new cathode structures, which basically consist of nano-composite layer/Ag/WO3 for transparent organic light-emitting diode (TOLED) applications. Our new cathode structure exhibits an extremely high transmittance of 91.2% at 550 nm, a low sheet resistance of 5.4 Ω □(-1), and excellent electron injection properties. Such a high transmittance along with a low resistivity of the fabricated new cathode could be explained by surface-modifying behavior with the generation of a nano-composite thin silver oxide layer during Ag deposition. Chemical interaction at the interface between the electron injection layer and the electron transport layer results in good electron injection properties in TOLEDs. The fabricated TOLEDs with our new cathode structures have a full device transmittance of 85-87% at 550 nm.

Concepts: Cathode, Semiconductor, Anode, Light-emitting diode, Diode, Electrical resistance, Resistivity, Sheet resistance


We present a quantum mechanical memristive Nb/Al/Al2O3/NbxOy/Au device which consists of an ultra-thin memristive layer (NbxOy) sandwiched between an Al2O3 tunnel barrier and a Schottky-like contact. A highly uniform current distribution for the LRS (low resistance state) and HRS (high resistance state) for areas ranging between 70 μm(2) and 2300 μm(2) were obtained, which indicates a non-filamentary based resistive switching mechanism. In a detailed experimental and theoretical analysis we show evidence that resistive switching originates from oxygen diffusion and modifications of the local electronic interface states within the NbxOy layer, which influences the interface properties of the Au (Schottky) contact and of the Al2O3 tunneling barrier, respectively. The presented device might offer several benefits like an intrinsic current compliance, improved retention and no need for an electric forming procedure, which is especially attractive for possible applications in highly dense random access memories or neuromorphic mixed signal circuits.

Concepts: Electron, Electromagnetism, Electric current, Superconductivity, Class, Electrical resistance