Program Highlights

Nebraska MRSEC Strengthens International Partnerships

Tula Paudel and Evgeny Tsymbal
Nebraska MRSEC

Nebraska MRSEC, known as P-SPINS, has a broad network of international partners, which complement and strengthen its research capabilities. Partnerships with international institutions provide a source for new ideas, allow access to complementary facilities, enhance possibilities to recruit the best students and faculty, and involve opportunities for students to interact with international collaborators.  

Recently Nebraska MRSEC researchers were involved in a collaborative study spanning three continents and the pages of journal Science (Science 349, 716 (2015)). This study discovered that a compound called lanthanum manganite features no magnetism when it is grown up to five atoms thick. Adding a sixth atomic layer, however, drives the material to become magnetic. The emergence of magnetism is induced by a restructuring of the compound’s electrons, which migrate from the top of the film to its bottom. These electrons then become confined between the film and the substrate on which it is grown ultimately producing magnetism. Being able to control and manipulate magnetism at the ultimate atomic scale may be important for novel device applications. This work was led by scientists from the Netherlands-based University of Twente and the National University of Singapore, with researchers from Stanford University and the Ireland-based Trinity College also contributing.

These programs are supported by the National Science Foundation, Division of Materials Research, Materials Research Science and Engineering Program, Grant 1420645.

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Abrupt appearance of magnetism in lanthanum manganite thin films, when their thickness is increased from 5 atomic layers (left) to 6 atomic layers (right). Arrows indicate magnetic moments on manganese atoms.

Highlight Info

Date: March 2016
Research Area: 
International Partnerships