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Researchers from the Electronic Ceramics Department of the Jožef Stefan Institute (JSI), along with the collaborators from the Department of Systems and Control, JSI, the Department of Materials Chemistry of the National Institute of Chemistry in Ljubljana, the North Carolina State University, USA, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, published their findings on the electromechanical response of relaxor ferroelectrics in the Advanced Functional Materials. The study reveals a unique dynamic response of these relaxor materials to external fields, reflecting their complex structure in terms of the hierarchical texture of ferroelectric domains on top of the disorder at the atomic scale, both of which strongly affect the mobility of the domain walls. The findings of this study open the doors to the design of new, highly performant functional materials by multiscale structural design.

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B3 - Department of Biotechnology and F4 - Department of Surface Technology of the Jožef Stefan Institute published an interdisciplinary study in the journal Biomaterials Science entitled Cold atmospheric plasma induces stress granule formation via eIF2α – dependent pathway. The paper reveals the complex mechanism of formation of stress granules in neurons after their exposure to atmospheric plasma, which is a known trigger of oxidative stress. The cellular medium, which is exposed to plasma and consequently enriched with various radicals, triggers the primary response of cells that manifests in the formation of stress granules in the cytoplasm. In plasma-treated cells, various signaling pathways are activated, one of which also involves phosphorylation of the eIF2α protein. Our study was the first to characterize plasma-induced stress granule formation, which increases the regenerative and metabolic capacity of cells and has the potential for use in tissue healing in regenerative medicine.

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Abdou Hassanien from Jozef Stefan Institute in collaboration with Biao Zhou and Akiko Kobayashi from Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan, have published article in Journal of Advanced Electronic Material titled Spontaneous Antiferromagnetic Ordering in a Single Layer of (BETS)2GaCl4 Organic Superconductor. The fabrication of such well-defined and atomically clean interfaces between materials of different orders are of fundamental interest to engineer novel functionalities and to study emergent phenomena in condensed matter physics. The paper illustrates the interplay between electronic orders of hybrid mix of nested antiferromagnetic molecular chains and superconducting molecular stripes at the single layer limit. Results of low temperature scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy have shown that low level vibronic and magnetic excitations that dominate the higher temperature phase are absent below Tc which point to their cooperative existence and possible renormalization to mediate superconductivity in such d-wave superconductors.

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Guilhem Poy from Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at University of Ljubljana and Slobodan Žumer from Jozef Stefan Institute in collaboration with the group of Ivan Smalyukh from University of Colorado in Boulder in Physical Review X published the paper that Control of Light by Topological Solitons in Soft Chiral Birefringent Media, was highlighted in APS Physics Focus by the editorial article “Liquid-Crystal Vortices Focus Light”. Topological solitons appearing in different areas of physics are fascinating localized perturbations of ordering fields enjoying topological protection. The authors demonstrate refraction, reflection, and lensing of weak laser beams by various topological solitons in frustrated chiral nematics and show how interactions of light with such topological solitons are well described using a generalized Snell’s law and ray-tracing models. These may lead to new means for controlling flow of light for use in optics and photonics.

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