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Concept: Magnetism


Several mammalian species spontaneously align their body axis with respect to the Earth’s magnetic field (MF) lines in diverse behavioral contexts. Magnetic alignment is a suitable paradigm to scan for the occurrence of magnetosensitivity across animal taxa with the heuristic potential to contribute to the understanding of the mechanism of magnetoreception and identify further functions of magnetosensation apart from navigation. With this in mind we searched for signs of magnetic alignment in dogs. We measured the direction of the body axis in 70 dogs of 37 breeds during defecation (1,893 observations) and urination (5,582 observations) over a two-year period. After complete sampling, we sorted the data according to the geomagnetic conditions prevailing during the respective sampling periods. Relative declination and intensity changes of the MF during the respective dog walks were calculated from daily magnetograms. Directional preferences of dogs under different MF conditions were analyzed and tested by means of circular statistics.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Earth's magnetic field, Magnet, Earth, Dynamo theory, Magnetism, Solar wind, Magnetosphere


Spin-transfer torques offer great promise for the development of spin-based devices. The effects of spin-transfer torques are typically analysed in terms of adiabatic and non-adiabatic contributions. Currently, a comprehensive interpretation of the non-adiabatic term remains elusive, with suggestions that it may arise from universal effects related to dissipation processes in spin dynamics, while other studies indicate a strong influence from the symmetry of magnetization gradients. Here we show that enhanced magnetic imaging under dynamic excitation can be used to differentiate between non-adiabatic spin-torque and extraneous influences. We combine Lorentz microscopy with gigahertz excitations to map the orbit of a magnetic vortex core with <5 nm resolution. Imaging of the gyrotropic motion reveals subtle changes in the ellipticity, amplitude and tilt of the orbit as the vortex is driven through resonance, providing a robust method to determine the non-adiabatic spin torque parameter β=0.15±0.02 with unprecedented precision, independent of external effects.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Angular momentum, Fundamental physics concepts, Torque, Magnetism, Magnetic moment, Force, Sound


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


Conventional spin-singlet Cooper pairs convert into spin-triplet pairs in ferromagnetic Josephson junctions in which the superconductor/ferromagnet interfaces (S/F) are magnetically inhomogeneous. Although much of the theoretical work describing this triplet proximity effect has considered ideal junctions with magnetic domain walls (DW) at the interfaces, in practice it is not easily possible to isolate a DW and propagate a supercurrent through it. The rare-earth magnet Gd can form a field-tuneable in-plane Bloch DW if grown between non-co-linearly aligned ferromagnets. Here we report supercurrents through magnetic Ni-Gd-Ni nanopillars: by field annealing at room temperature, we are able to modify the low temperature DW-state in Gd and this result has a striking effect on the junction supercurrent at 4.2 K. We argue that this result can only be explained in terms of the interconversion of triplet and singlet pairs, the efficiency of which depends on the magnetic helicity of the structure.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Fundamental physics concepts, Magnet, Paramagnetism, Magnetism, Ferromagnetism, Antiferromagnetism, Domain wall


This work is aimed to evaluate a method to detect the residual magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) in animal tissues. Ferric ions released from MNPs through acidification with hydrochloric acid can be measured by complexation with potassium thiocyanate. MNPs in saline could be well detected by this chemical colorimetric method, whereas the detected sensitivity decreased significantly when MNPs were mixed with mouse tissue homogenates. In order to check the MNPs in animal tissues accurately, three improvements have been made. Firstly, proteinase K was used to digest the proteins that might bind with iron, and secondly, ferrosoferric oxide (Fe3O4) was collected by a magnetic field which could capture MNPs and leave the bio-iron in the supernatant. Finally, the collected MNPs were carbonized in the muffle furnace at 420[degree sign]C before acidification to ruin the groups that might bind with ferric ions such as porphyrin. Using this method, MNPs in animal tissues could be well measured while avoiding the disturbance of endogenous iron and iron-binding groups.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Hydrogen, Magnetism, Sodium chloride, PH, Chlorine, Magnetite, Ferric


The flow of magnetic charge carriers (dubbed magnetic monopoles) through frustrated spin ice lattices, governed simply by Coulombic forces, represents a new direction in electromagnetism. Artificial spin ice nanoarrays realise this effect at room temperature, where the magnetic charge is carried by domain walls. Control of domain wall path is one important element of utilizing this new medium. By imaging the transit of domain walls across different connected 2D honeycomb structures we contribute an important aspect which will enable that control to be realized. Although apparently equivalent paths are presented to a domain wall as it approaches a Y-shaped vertex from a bar parallel to the field, we observe a stark non-random path distribution, which we attribute to the chirality of the magnetic charges. These observations are supported by detailed statistical modelling and micromagnetic simulations. The identification of chiral control to magnetic charge path selectivity invites analogy with spintronics.

Concepts: Electron, Electromagnetism, Electric charge, Magnetic field, Magnet, Magnetism, Magnetic monopole, Topological defect


We report the preparation and characterization of spherical core-shell structured Fe3O4-Au magnetic nanoparticles, modified with two component self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) consisting of 3-mercaptophenylboronic acid (3-MBA) and 1-decanethiol (1-DT). The rapid and room temperature synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles was achieved using the hydroxylamine reduction of HAuCl4 on the surface of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)-immobilized iron (magnetite Fe3O4) nanoparticles in the presence of an aqueous solution of hexadecyltrimetylammonium bromide (CTAB) as a dispersant. The reduction of gold on the surface of Fe3O4 nanoparticles exhibits a uniform, highly stable, and narrow particle size distribution of Fe3O4-Au nanoparticles with an average diameter of 9 ± 2 nm. The saturation magnetization value for the resulting nanoparticles was found to be 15 emu/g at 298 K. Subsequent surface modification with SAMs against glucoside moieties on the surface of bacteria provided effective magnetic separation. Comparison of the bacteria capturing efficiency, by means of different molecular recognition agents 3-MBA, 1-DT and the mixed monolayer of 3-MBA and 1-DT was presented. The best capturing efficiency of E. coli was achieved with the mixed monolayer of 3-MBA and 1-DT-modified nanoparticles. Molecular specificity and selectivity were also demonstrated by comparing the surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectrum of E. coli-nanoparticle conjugates with bacterial growth media.

Concepts: Bacteria, Gut flora, Nanoparticle, Escherichia coli, Chemistry, Magnetism, Proteobacteria, Magnetite


Materials based on metallic elements that have d orbitals and exhibit room temperature magnetism have been known for centuries and applied in a huge range of technologies. Development of room temperature carbon magnets containing exclusively sp orbitals is viewed as great challenge in chemistry, physics, spintronics and materials science. Here we describe a series of room temperature organic magnets prepared by a simple and controllable route based on the substitution of fluorine atoms in fluorographene with hydroxyl groups. Depending on the chemical composition (an F/OH ratio) and sp(3) coverage, these new graphene derivatives show room temperature antiferromagnetic ordering, which has never been observed for any sp-based materials. Such 2D magnets undergo a transition to a ferromagnetic state at low temperatures, showing an extraordinarily high magnetic moment. The developed theoretical model addresses the origin of the room temperature magnetism in terms of sp(2)-conjugated diradical motifs embedded in an sp(3) matrix and superexchange interactions via -OH functionalization.

Concepts: Oxygen, Magnetic field, Magnet, Chemistry, Magnetism, Ferromagnetism, Chemical element, Carbon


The realization of a controllable metamagnetic transition from AFM to FM ordering would open the door to a plethora of new spintronics based devices that, rather than reorienting spins in a ferromagnet, harness direct control of a materials intrinsic magnetic ordering. In this study FeRh films with drastically reduced transition temperatures and a large magneto-thermal hysteresis were produced for magnetocaloric and spintronics applications. Remarkably, giant controllable magnetization changes (measured to be as high has ~25%) are realized by manipulating the strain transfer from the external lattice when subjected to two structural phase transitions of BaTiO3 (001) single crystal substrate. These magnetization changes are the largest seen to date to be controllably induced in the FeRh system. Using polarized neutron reflectometry we reveal how just a slight in plane surface strain change at ~290C results in a massive magnetic transformation in the bottom half of the film clearly demonstrating a strong lattice-spin coupling in FeRh. By means of these substrate induced strain changes we show a way to reproducibly explore the effects of temperature and strain on the relative stabilities of the FM and AFM phases in multi-domain metamagnetic systems. This study also demonstrates for the first time the depth dependent nature of a controllable magnetic order using strain in an artificial multiferroic heterostructure.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Fundamental physics concepts, Spin, Paramagnetism, Magnetism, Ferromagnetism, Magnetic moment, Permeability


The demand for ever-increasing density of information storage and speed of manipulation boosts an intense search for new magnetic materials and novel ways of controlling the magnetic bit. Here, we report the synthesis of a ferromagnetic photovoltaic CH3NH3(Mn:Pb)I3 material in which the photo-excited electrons rapidly melt the local magnetic order through the Ruderman-Kittel-Kasuya-Yosida interactions without heating up the spin system. Our finding offers an alternative, very simple and efficient way of optical spin control, and opens an avenue for applications in low-power, light controlling magnetic devices.

Concepts: Electron, Electromagnetism, Magnetic field, Spin, Magnet, Paramagnetism, Magnetism, Ferromagnetism