V001 / JSI / Levo

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Tina Arh, Matjaž Gomilšek, Matej Pregelj, Martin Klanjšek and Andrej Zorko from the Solid State Physics Department and Peter Prelovšek from the Department of Theoretical Physics at the “Jožef Stefan” Institute, in collaboration with researchers from United Kingdom, USA and China, have published a paper “Origin of Magnetic Ordering in a Structurally Perfect Quantum Kagome Antiferromagnet” in Physical Review Letters. They confirmed more than a decade old theoretical prediction of a quantum critical point of a kagome antiferromagnet between a quantum spin liquid and a magnetically ordered state, induced by the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya magnetic anisotropy. YCu3(OH)6Cl3 is the first known material with a perfect kagome lattice without any impurities, in which the magnetic anisotropy can be studied in isolation from other perturbations. Understanding the mechanism of magnetic ordering in this material is crucial for understanding the stability of enigmatic quantum spin liquids.

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Liquid-Cell Transmission Electron Microscopy (LCTEM) is a method for studying the nucleation and growth of nanostructures either from solutions or during the electrodeposition, at the nanoscale and in real time. In the joint study between the researchers at the Department for Nanostructured Materials at Jožef Stefan Institute and National Institute of Chemistry we have shown that the radical-induced redox chemistry can be used to investigate various redox-driven dynamics for a wide range of functional nanomaterials, in situ, and under dynamic conditions by applying LCTEM. We successfully modelled radical-induced redox chemistry processes in LCTEM, including the complex kinetics of the radiolysis species and their influence on the redox chemistry of the materials under investigation. The results of this study were published in a highly ranked journal Chemical Science (IF = 9,5).

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A team of researchers from France, India, and Slovenia was able to demonstrate the absence of a spin gap in the ground state of the iconic kagome-lattice material herbertsmithite. Their investigation entitled “Gapless ground state in the archetypal quantum kagome antiferromagnet ZnCu3(OH)6Cl2”, published in the renowned journal Nature Physics, was co-authored by Andrej Zorko from the Solid State Physics Department of the Jožef Stefan Institute and the Physics Department of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, UL. The discovery refutes a decade-old belief of a finite gap in this material and puts the enigmatic spin-liquid state in a completely new perspective. This experimental finding is consistent with recent theories suggesting a U(1) Dirac spin liquid as the ground state of the Heisenberg kagome antiferromagnet.

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In a paper, published in Physical Review X, Simon Čopar, Jure Aplinc, Žiga Kos, Slobodan Žumer and Miha Ravnik ( Department of Physics UL-FMF, Department of Solid-state Physics IJS), present the first numerical study of the topology of three-dimensional active nematic turbulence in a spherical confinement. Simulations were performed using a mesoscopic model of active nematic fluids, which are most commonly used to describe biological systems driven by internal conversion of stored energy (usually chemical) into motion. The chaotic motion in the active turbulence was explained by elementary topological events that affect defect lines appearing in such systems. Additionally, a coupling of surface and bulk dynamics through defects was demonstrated.