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The Physical Review Letters journal has recently published a paper entitled Low-Temperature Global Symmetry Reduction in the Kagome Antiferromagnet Herbertsmithite, written by Andrej Zorko and Matjaž Gomilšek from the Solid State Physics Department, Jožef Stefan Institute. In collaboration with research groups from Croatia, USA, and France, they have observed for the first time a reduction of symmetry in herbertsmithite, a paradigm of quantum spin liquids on the kagome lattice with a theoretically predicted spin-liquid ground state. The symmetry reduction could finally provide a key clue about the nature of the ground state in this mineral. After more than a decade of intense research, this discovery provides a novel viewpoint on the enigmatic spin-liquid ground state of the kagome lattice.

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Researchers from Jozef Stefan Institute and National Institute of Chemistry, in collaboration with colleagues from Switzerland and Japan, were the first to identify accumulation of charged defects at domain walls in ferroelectric BiFeO3. This finding explains the p-type hopping conduction at the domain walls in BiFeO3 and thus represents the missing piece for explaining the intriguing electrical properties of domain walls in ferroelectrics. The study was published in Nature Materials with a 2015 impact factor of 38.89, which currently makes it one of the highest-impact scientific journals. (T. Rojac, A. Bencan, G. Drazic, N. Sakamoto, H. Ursic, B. Jancar, G. Tavcar, M. Makarovic, J. Walker, B. Malic in D. Damjanovic; Domain wall conduction in ferroelectric BiFeO3 controlled by accumulation of charged defects. The entire study was conceived and experimentally implemented at the two Slovenian research institutions.

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Liquid crystal elastomers are promising for building actuators due to their excellent thermomechanical response, but it is challenging to manufacture them additively. Members of the Solid State Department (F5) of Jožef Stefan Institute, A. Rešetič, J. Milavec, B. Zupančič, B. Zalar and V. Domenici from Italy have shown that limitations imposed by the synthesis of liquid crystal elastomers can be overcome by doping microparticles to the polymer matrix and curing the composite resin in external magnetic field. The new composite material provides for conventional moulding of elastic objects of general shapes and thermomechanical deformation modes. This work has been published in an article Polymer-dispersed liquid crystal elastomers in Nature Communications.

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The paper entitled Network traffic modeling for load prediction: a user-centric approach published in IEEE Network, authored by two researchers from the Department of communications systems prof. dr. Aleš Švigelj and dr. Kemal Alič and dr. Radovan Sernec from Telekoma Slovenije, was selected for the Best Paper Award of the IEEE ComSoc Technical Committee on Communications Systems Integration and Modeling. The award will be presented during the prestigious IEEE Globecom 2016 conference held in December in Washington D.C., USA. The paper addresses an innovative user-centric approach to network traffic modelling that was validated and used in the process of introducing, optimizing, and planning of new services at the Slovenian national telecom operator and service provider.

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