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Concept: Hysteresis


Ferromagnetic nanostructures have been electrodeposited within the pores of porous silicon templates with average pore diameters between 25 and 60 nm. In this diameter regime, the pore formation in general is accompanied by dendritic growth resulting in rough pore walls, which involves metal deposits also offering a branched structure. These side branches influence the magnetic properties of the composite system not only due to modified and peculiar stray fields but also because of a reduced interpore spacing by the approaching of adjacent side pores. To improve the morphology of the porous silicon structures, a magnetic field up to 8 T has been applied during the formation process. The magnetic field etching results in smaller pore diameters with less dendritic side pores. Deposition of a ferromagnetic metal within these templates leads to less branched nanostructures and, thus, to an enhancement of the coercivity of the system and also to a significantly increased magnetic anisotropy. So magnetic field-assisted etching is an appropriate tool to improve the structure of the template concerning the decrease of the dendritic pore growth and to advance the magnetic properties of the composite material.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Magnet, Paramagnetism, Magnetism, Ferromagnetism, Composite material, Hysteresis, Boeing 787


Advancing and receding contact angles of water, formamide and diiodomethane were measured on 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) layers deposited on three different solid supports-glass, mica and poly(methyl methacrylate). Up to five statistical monolayers were deposited on the surfaces by spreading DPPC solution. It was found that even on five statistical DPPC monolayers, the hysteresis of a given liquid depends on the kind of solid support. Also on the same solid support the contact angle hysteresis is different for each probe liquid used. The AFM images show that the heights of roughness of the DPPC films cannot be the primary cause of the observed hysteresis because the heights are too small to cause the observed hystereses. It is believed that the hysteresis is due to the liquid film present right behind the three-phase solid surface/liquid drop/gas (vapour) contact line and the presence of Derjaguin pressure. The value of contact angle hysteresis depends on both the solid surface and liquid properties as well as on intermolecular interactions between them.

Concepts: Water, Liquid, Surface tension, Gas, Surface, Angle, Hysteresis, Contact angle


This study explores how contact angle hysteresis and titling angle relate with stickiness on superhydrophobic surfaces. The result indicates that contact angle hysteresis could not be mentioned as a proper factor to evaluate the surface stickiness. By analyzing the system pinning force of droplet placed on a titled surface, we concluded that both solid fraction and surface geometric factor are the critical factors determining the surface stickiness.

Concepts: Surface, Angle, Hysteresis, Differential geometry, Contact angle, Analytic geometry, Division, Fraction


Charged domain walls in proper ferroelectrics were shown recently to possess metallic-like conductivity. Unlike conventional heterointerfaces, these walls can be displaced inside a dielectric by an electric field, which is of interest for future electronic circuitry. In addition, theory predicts that charged domain walls may influence the electromechanical response of ferroelectrics, with strong enhancement upon increased charged domain wall density. The existence of charged domain walls in proper ferroelectrics is disfavoured by their high formation energy and methods of their preparation in predefined patterns are unknown. Here we develop the theoretical background for the formation of charged domain walls in proper ferroelectrics using energy considerations and outline favourable conditions for their engineering. We experimentally demonstrate, in BaTiO3 single crystals the controlled build-up of high density charged domain wall patterns, down to a spacing of 7 μm with a predominant mixed electronic and ionic screening scenario, hinting to a possible exploitation of charged domain walls in agile electronics and sensing devices.

Concepts: Fundamental physics concepts, Magnetism, Theory, Hysteresis, Electrical engineering, Electric and magnetic fields in matter, Electronic engineering, Domain wall


Magnetic random access memory schemes employing magnetoelectric coupling to write binary information promise outstanding energy efficiency. We propose and demonstrate a purely antiferromagnetic magnetoelectric random access memory (AF-MERAM) that offers a remarkable 50-fold reduction of the writing threshold compared with ferromagnet-based counterparts, is robust against magnetic disturbances and exhibits no ferromagnetic hysteresis losses. Using the magnetoelectric antiferromagnet Cr2O3, we demonstrate reliable isothermal switching via gate voltage pulses and all-electric readout at room temperature. As no ferromagnetic component is present in the system, the writing magnetic field does not need to be pulsed for readout, allowing permanent magnets to be used. Based on our prototypes, we construct a comprehensive model of the magnetoelectric selection mechanisms in thin films of magnetoelectric antiferromagnets, revealing misfit induced ferrimagnetism as an important factor. Beyond memory applications, the AF-MERAM concept introduces a general all-electric interface for antiferromagnets and should find wide applicability in antiferromagnetic spintronics.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Magnet, Paramagnetism, Magnetism, Ferromagnetism, Permeability, Hysteresis, Antiferromagnetism


Superomniphobic surfaces display contact angles > 150° and low contact angle hysteresis with essentially all contacting liquids. In this work, we report surfaces that display superomniphobicity with a range of different non-Newtonian liquids, in addition to super-omniphobicity with a wide range of Newtonian liquids. Our surfaces possess hierarchical scales of re-entrant texture that significantly reduces the solid-liquid contact area. Virtually all liquids including concentrated organic and inorganic acids, bases and solvents, as well as, vis-coelastic polymer solutions can easily roll-off and bounce on our surfaces. Consequently, they serve as effective chemical shields against virtually all liquids - organic or inorganic, polar or non-polar, Newtonian or non-Newtonian.

Concepts: Oxygen, Solubility, Viscosity, Angle, Hysteresis, Contact angle, Non-Newtonian fluid, Newtonian fluid


Magnetic interactions in solids are normally mediated by short-range exchange or weak dipole fields. Here we report a magnetic interaction that can propagate over long distances (∼10 nm) across a polar insulating oxide spacer. Evidence includes oscillations of magnetization, coercivity and field-cooled loop shift with the thickness of LaAlO3 in La0.67Sr0.33MnO3/LaAlO3/SrTiO3 heterostructures. Similar modifications of the hysteresis loop appear when two coupled films of La0.67Sr0.33MnO3 are separated by LaAlO3, or another polar insulator, but they are absent when the oxide spacer layer is nonpolar. The loop shift is attributed to strong spin-orbit coupling and Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction at the interfaces. There is evidence from inelastic light scattering that the polar spacer mediates long-range transmission of orbital magnetization. This coupling mechanism is expected to apply for any conducting ferromagnetic oxide with mixed valence; in view of electron hopping frequency involved, it raises the prospect of terahertz tunability of magnetic coupling.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Fundamental physics concepts, Magnetism, Ferromagnetism, Scattering, Permeability, Hysteresis, Coercivity


Ferrimagnetic CoFe2O4 nanopillars embedded in a ferroelectric BaTiO3 matrix are an example for a two-phase magnetoelectrically coupled system. They operate at room temperature and are free of any resource-critical rare-earth element, which makes them interesting for potential applications. Prior studies succeeded in showing strain-mediated coupling between the two subsystems. In particular, the electric properties can be tuned by magnetic fields and the magnetic properties by electric fields. Here we take the analysis of the coupling to a new level utilizing soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy and its associated linear dichroism. We demonstrate that an in-plane magnetic field breaks the tetragonal symmetry of the (1,3)-type CoFe2O4/BaTiO3 structures and discuss it in terms of off-diagonal magnetostrictive-piezoelectric coupling. This coupling creates staggered in-plane components of the electric polarization, which are stable even at magnetic remanence due to hysteretic behaviour of structural changes in the BaTiO3 matrix. The competing mechanisms of clamping and relaxation effects are discussed in detail.

Concepts: Electron, Electromagnetism, Magnetic field, Electromagnetic radiation, Maxwell's equations, Magnetism, Hysteresis, X-ray absorption spectroscopy


Graphene, an atomically thin two-dimensional material, has received significant attention due to its extraordinary electronic, optical and mechanical properties. Studies focused on understanding the wettability of graphene for thermo-fluidic and surface-coating applications, however, have been sparse. Meanwhile, wettability results reported in literature via static contact angle measurement experiments have been contradictory and highlight the lack of clear understanding of the underlying physics that dictates wetting behavior. In this work, dynamic contact angle measurements and detailed graphene surface characterizations were performed to demonstrate that the defects present in CVD grown and transferred graphene coatings result in unusually high contact angle hysteresis (16°-37°) on these otherwise smooth surfaces. Hence, understanding the effect of the underlying substrate based on static contact angle measurements, as reported in literature is insufficient. The advancing contact angle measurements on mono-, bi-, and tri-layer graphene sheets on copper, thermally grown silica (SiO2), and glass substrates were observed to be independent of the number of layers of graphene and in good agreement with corresponding molecular dynamics simulations and theoretical calculations. Irrespective of the number of graphene layers, the advancing contact angle values were also in good agreement with the advancing contact angle on highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG), reaffirming the negligible effect of the underlying substrate. These results suggest that the advancing contact angle is a true representation of a graphene-coated surface while the receding contact angle is significantly influenced by intrinsic defects introduced during the growth and transfer processes. These observations, where the underlying substrates do not affect the wettability of graphene coatings, is shown to be due to the large interlayer spacing resulting from the loose interlamellar coupling between the graphene sheet and the underlying substrate. The fundamental insights on graphene-water interactions reported in this study is an important step towards developing graphene-assisted surface coatings, heat transfer and microfluidics devices.

Concepts: Wetting, Surface tension, Graphite, Graphene, Angle, Hysteresis, Contact angle, Sessile drop technique


The imidazole unit is chemically stable and ubiquitous in biological systems; its proton donor and acceptor moieties easily bind molecules into a dipolar chain. Here we demonstrate that chains of these amphoteric molecules can often be bistable in electric polarity and electrically switchable, even in the crystalline state, through proton tautomerization. Polarization-electric field (P-E) hysteresis experiments reveal a high electric polarization ranging from 5 to 10 μC cm(-2) at room temperature. Of these molecules, 2-methylbenzimidazole allows ferroelectric switching in two dimensions due to its pseudo-tetragonal crystal symmetry. The ferroelectricity is also thermally robust up to 400 K, as is that of 5,6-dichloro-2-methylbenzimidazole (up to ~373 K). In contrast, three other benzimidazoles exhibit double P-E hysteresis curves characteristic of antiferroelectricity. The diversity of imidazole substituents is likely to stimulate a systematic exploration of various structure-property relationships and domain engineering in the quest for lead- and rare-metal-free ferroelectric devices.

Concepts: Electron, Electric charge, Crystal, Fundamental physics concepts, Chemistry, Atom, Hysteresis, Ferroelectricity