Center for Emergent Materials: an NSF MRSEC

The Center for Emergent Materials engages researchers from multiple disciplines to work in teams on scientific problems too complex for a single researcher to solve. The CEM, established in 2008, is located at The Ohio State University and funded by a National Science Foundation MRSEC award.


Tiny magnetic particles enable new material to bend, twist and grab

A CEM-supported research team from The Ohio State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a material system that can transform into different shapes through the application of magnetic fields.

The new material, called magnetic shape memory polymers, has the potential to enable a wide range of applications, from biomedical devices to soft robotics. The novel magnetic shape memory polymer composite enables tunable rigidity and has multiple shape manipulation capabilities.

The discovery was reported in the most recent issue of Advanced Materials.

A full explanation of the finding and what it means for materials research can be read here.

Exotic Kitaev interaction is dominant in two-dimensional (2D) ferromagnet CrI3

A collaboration of researchers from three CEM IRGs led by Nandini Trivedi, Joshua Goldberger and Chris Hammel published a study of the 2D ferromagnet CrIin Physical Review Letters‘ first issue of 2020.

In this study, angle-dependent ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) was combined with theoretical analysis based on crystal symmetries to reveal the fundamental spin interactions in the atomic monolayer ferromagnet CrI3. The excitement surrounding 2D van der Waals ferromagnets has stimulated great interest in the origins of the magnetism and the magnetic anisotropy that makes ordering possible. The spin model presented here, constrained by crystal symmetries, and precisely quantified by combining spectroscopic FMR measurements with the value of the ferromagnetic critical temperature, reveals three spin exchange interactions:  Heisenberg , Kitaev, and anisotropic exchange interactions. A remarkable finding is that the Kitaev interaction is much stronger than other interactions in CrI3—exceeding the conventional Heisenberg exchange interaction by a factor of 25. This surprising result provides clues that could enable the realization of a magnetically frustrated quantum spin liquid arising from Kitaev physics.

The researchers on this work, funded primarily by the CEM, also collaborated with scientists at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and the Korea Institute for Advanced Study. The paper can be read on the Physical Review Letters website.