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Sai Sankar Gupta K.B.,Leiden University | Daviso E.,Leiden University | Daviso E.,Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory | Jeschke G.,ETH Zurich | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Magnetic Resonance | Year: 2014

In solid-state photochemically induced dynamic nuclear polarization (photo-CIDNP) MAS NMR experiments, strong signal enhancement is observed from molecules forming a spin-correlated radical pair in a rigid matrix. Two-dimensional 13C-13C dipolar-assisted rotational resonance (DARR) photo-CIDNP MAS NMR experiments have been applied to obtain exact chemical shift assignments from those cofactors. Under continuous illumination, the signals are enhanced via three-spin mixing (TSM) and differential decay (DD) and their intensity corresponds to the electron spin density in pz orbitals. In multiple-13C labelled samples, spin diffusion leads to propagation of signal enhancement to all 13C spins. Under steady-state conditions, direct signal assignment is possible due to the uniform signal intensity. The original intensities, however, are inaccessible and the information of the local electron spin density is lost. Upon laser-flash illumination, the signal is enhanced via the classical radical pair mechanism (RPM). The obtained intensities are related to isotropic hyperfine interactions aiso and both enhanced absorptive and emissive lines can be observed due to differences in the sign of the local isotropic hyperfine interaction. Exploiting the mechanism of the polarization, selectivity can be increased by the novel time-resolved two-dimensional dipolar-assisted rotational resonance (DARR) MAS NMR experiment which simplifies the signal assignment compared to complex spectra of the same RCs obtained by continuous illumination. Here we present two-dimensional time-resolved photo-CIDNP MAS NMR experiments providing both directly: signal assignment and spectral editing by sign and strength of aiso. Hence, this experiment provides a direct key to the electronic structure of the correlated radical pair. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source


News Article | April 14, 2016
Site: http://www.theenergycollective.com/rss/all

Paul Woskov is collecting rocks. A growing number of granite and basalt squares perch on cabinet tops and shelves around his office, each a record of his latest experiment in drilling. Some show clean circles that fully penetrate the rock, while others hold glassy craters. Woskov, a senior research engineer at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC), is using a gyrotron, a specialized radio-frequency (RF) wave generator developed for fusion research, to explore how millimeter RF waves can open holes through hard rock by melting or vaporizing it. Penetrating deep into hard rock is necessary to access virtually limitless geothermal energy resources, to mine precious metals, or explore new options for nuclear waste storage. But it is a difficult and expensive process, and today’s mechanical drilling technology has limitations. Woskov believes that powerful millimeter-wave sources could increase deep hard rock penetration rates by more than ten times at lower cost over current mechanical drilling systems, while providing other practical benefits. “There is plenty of heat beneath our feet,” he says, “something like 20 billion times the energy that the world uses in one year.” But, Woskov notes, most studies of the accessibility of geothermal energy are based on current mechanical technology and its limitations. They do not consider that a breakthrough advance in drilling technology could make possible deeper, less expensive penetration, opening into what Woskov calls “an enormous reserve of energy, second only to fusion: base energy, available 24/7.” Current rotary technology is a mechanical grinding process that is limited by rock hardness, deep pressures, and high temperatures. Specially designed “drilling mud,” pumped through the hollow drill pipe interior, is used to enable deep drilling and to remove the excess cuttings, returning them to the surface via the ring-shaped space between the drill pipe and borehole wall. The pressure of the mud also keeps the hole from collapsing, sealing, and strengthening the hole in the process. But there is a limit to the pressures such a borehole can withstand, and typically holes cannot be drilled beyond 30,000 feet (9 km). Woskov asks, “What if you could drill beyond this limit? What if you could drill over 10 kilometers into the Earth’s crust?” With his proposed gyrotron technology this is theoretically possible. Woskov laughs when he reveals that drilling engineers have a hard time believing his technology does not use the costly drilling mud they depend on. But, he explains, with a gyrotron, high-temperature physics will replace the mechanical functions of low-temperature mud, allowing drillers to extract rock matter through vaporization or displace the melt through pressurization. Similarly, the high temperature melted rock will seal the walls of the borehole, and the high pressure from the increased temperature will prevent collapse. In principle, because an increase in temperature in a confined volume will always result in an increase in pressure over local pressure, drillers could maintain the stability of a borehole to greater depths than possible with drilling muds. Woskov observes yet another advantage: “Our beams don’t need to be round. Forces underground are anisotropic — not symmetrical. That is one reason holes collapse. But we can shape our beam to respond to local pressures. You can create an elliptical hole with the major axis corresponding to the anisotropy of the forces, essentially recovering the strength of a round hole in a symmetrical force field.” Later this spring, the researcher is planning to move his base of operation from the PSFC to the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) in Kirkland, New Mexico, in order to take advantage of a microwave source that would allow him to perform experiments at a power level a factor of 10 higher than is currently possible in the laboratory at MIT. He would be able to graduate from drilling rocks in the 4-6 inch range to those in the 2-4 feet range. He is especially interested in exploring how well the rock can be vaporized, which would only be possible with the higher power available at AFRL. Support for this project originally came from MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), which in 2008 provided seed money and later a follow-up grant. Although Woskov continues to pursue ways his technology can advance geothermal energy research, his current support is from the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Science, through Impact Technologies LLC, which funds him to explore deep bore hole storage of radioactive and nuclear wastes. At 6 km deep, such bore holes would place waste much farther from the biosphere than is possible with near-earth depositories such as Yucca Mountain. The bottom 2 kilometers of the hole would hold waste, capped with a 2-km seal — which is currently considered the “weak link” in the process. Woskov is experimenting with melted basalt and the more viscous granite to learn how he can seal the holes with melted rock, which could provide the most secure entombment of the waste products. Woskov, who joined MIT’s Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory in 1976 before becoming a founding member of the Plasma Fusion Center in 1979, is approaching his 40th anniversary at MIT. The first three decades of his tenure focused heavily on high-power far infrared scattering for measuring energy distribution of fast ions, the product of fusion reactions. The exploration took much longer than anyone anticipated, but when it eventually found success in Europe on the TEXTOR tokamak reactor, Woskov was left looking for a new direction. While still pursuing fusion, he began exploring some spinoff technologies that could be realized in a matter of years rather than decades. He received one R&D 100 Award after another for a series of projects: a thermometer for measuring temperatures in high-temperature furnaces; a hazardous waste emissions monitor for incinerators and power pants; a device to monitor molten metals: all experiments that used developments in fusion research to address shorter-term problems. “Occasionally you have to do something that has a near-term reward,” Woskov laughs, noting that it can be frustrating when you work on something for 30 years without a final product. The beauty that long-term fusion research has provided the technology for so many exciting short-term projects is not lost on Woskov. And he notes with amusement that so much fusion research revolves around protecting materials in fusion devices from being damaged by hot plasma, while his current project exploits the high energy of fusion technology to see how effectively it can melt materials. Woskov foresees a number of other uses for the microwave technology. The high-temperature pressures of microwaves could be used to break apart rocks for mining, or excavate rock to create tunnels and canals. It could also be used for fracking in place of pressurized water, which is controversial due to its limited supply and resulting water contamination. “Energy trumps matter,” Woskov proclaims, excited by how microwave heat and pressure could literally move mountains, or at least pieces of them. For now he’s going to continue melting his way through the earth’s crust, one rock at a time.


News Article
Site: http://news.mit.edu/topic/mitenergy-rss.xml

Paul Woskov is collecting rocks. A growing number of granite and basalt squares perch on cabinet tops and shelves around his office, each a record of his latest experiment in drilling. Some show clean circles that fully penetrate the rock, while others hold glassy craters. Woskov, a senior research engineer at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC), is using a gyrotron, a specialized radio-frequency (RF) wave generator developed for fusion research, to explore how millimeter RF waves can open holes through hard rock by melting or vaporizing it. Penetrating deep into hard rock is necessary to access virtually limitless geothermal energy resources, to mine precious metals, or explore new options for nuclear waste storage. But it is a difficult and expensive process, and today’s mechanical drilling technology has limitations. Woskov believes that powerful millimeter-wave sources could increase deep hard rock penetration rates by more than ten times at lower cost over current mechanical drilling systems, while providing other practical benefits. “There is plenty of heat beneath our feet,” he says, “something like 20 billion times the energy that the world uses in one year.” But, Woskov notes, most studies of the accessibility of geothermal energy are based on current mechanical technology and its limitations. They do not consider that a breakthrough advance in drilling technology could make possible deeper, less expensive penetration, opening into what Woskov calls “an enormous reserve of energy, second only to fusion: base energy, available 24/7.” Current rotary technology is a mechanical grinding process that is limited by rock hardness, deep pressures, and high temperatures. Specially designed “drilling mud,” pumped through the hollow drill pipe interior, is used to enable deep drilling and to remove the excess cuttings, returning them to the surface via the ring-shaped space between the drill pipe and borehole wall. The pressure of the mud also keeps the hole from collapsing, sealing, and strengthening the hole in the process. But there is a limit to the pressures such a borehole can withstand, and typically holes cannot be drilled beyond 30,000 feet (9 km). Woskov asks, “What if you could drill beyond this limit? What if you could drill over 10 kilometers into the Earth’s crust?” With his proposed gyrotron technology this is theoretically possible. Woskov laughs when he reveals that drilling engineers have a hard time believing his technology does not use the costly drilling mud they depend on. But, he explains, with a gyrotron, high-temperature physics will replace the mechanical functions of low-temperature mud, allowing drillers to extract rock matter through vaporization or displace the melt through pressurization. Similarly, the high temperature melted rock will seal the walls of the borehole, and the high pressure from the increased temperature will prevent collapse. In principle, because an increase in temperature in a confined volume will always result in an increase in pressure over local pressure, drillers could maintain the stability of a borehole to greater depths than possible with drilling muds. Woskov observes yet another advantage: “Our beams don’t need to be round. Forces underground are anisotropic — not symmetrical. That is one reason holes collapse. But we can shape our beam to respond to local pressures. You can create an elliptical hole with the major axis corresponding to the anisotropy of the forces, essentially recovering the strength of a round hole in a symmetrical force field.” Later this spring, the researcher is planning to move his base of operation from the PSFC to the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) in Kirkland, New Mexico, in order to take advantage of a microwave source that would allow him to perform experiments at a power level a factor of 10 higher than is currently possible in the laboratory at MIT. He would be able to graduate from drilling rocks in the 4-6 inch range to those in the 2-4 feet range. He is especially interested in exploring how well the rock can be vaporized, which would only be possible with the higher power available at AFRL. Support for this project originally came from MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), which in 2008 provided seed money and later a follow-up grant. Although Woskov continues to pursue ways his technology can advance geothermal energy research, his current support is from the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Science, through Impact Technologies LLC, which funds him to explore deep bore hole storage of radioactive and nuclear wastes. At 6 km deep, such bore holes would place waste much farther from the biosphere than is possible with near-earth depositories such as Yucca Mountain. The bottom 2 kilometers of the hole would hold waste, capped with a 2-km seal — which is currently considered the “weak link” in the process. Woskov is experimenting with melted basalt and the more viscous granite to learn how he can seal the holes with melted rock, which could provide the most secure entombment of the waste products. Woskov, who joined MIT’s Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory in 1976 before becoming a founding member of the Plasma Fusion Center in 1979, is approaching his 40th anniversary at MIT. The first three decades of his tenure focused heavily on high-power far infrared scattering for measuring energy distribution of fast ions, the product of fusion reactions. The exploration took much longer than anyone anticipated, but when it eventually found success in Europe on the TEXTOR tokamak reactor, Woskov was left looking for a new direction. While still pursuing fusion, he began exploring some spinoff technologies that could be realized in a matter of years rather than decades. He received one R&D 100 Award after another for a series of projects: a thermometer for measuring temperatures in high-temperature furnaces; a hazardous waste emissions monitor for incinerators and power pants; a device to monitor molten metals: all experiments that used developments in fusion research to address shorter-term problems. “Occasionally you have to do something that has a near-term reward,” Woskov laughs, noting that it can be frustrating when you work on something for 30 years without a final product. The beauty that long-term fusion research has provided the technology for so many exciting short-term projects is not lost on Woskov. And he notes with amusement that so much fusion research revolves around protecting materials in fusion devices from being damaged by hot plasma, while his current project exploits the high energy of fusion technology to see how effectively it can melt materials. Woskov foresees a number of other uses for the microwave technology. The high-temperature pressures of microwaves could be used to break apart rocks for mining, or excavate rock to create tunnels and canals. It could also be used for fracking in place of pressurized water, which is controversial due to its limited supply and resulting water contamination. “Energy trumps matter,” Woskov proclaims, excited by how microwave heat and pressure could literally move mountains, or at least pieces of them. For now he’s going to continue melting his way through the earth’s crust, one rock at a time.


News Article
Site: http://news.mit.edu/topic/mitenergy-rss.xml

Laptop computer users operating their devices on their laps will be familiar with the heat they generate, which comes from electrical resistance converting waste energy to heat. Scientists dream of creating electronic devices with little or no resistance to the flow of electricity, in order to reduce heat output, save energy, and extend device capabilities. In the last several years theorists and experimentalists have been trying to achieve this goal using extremely thin materials with special physical properties, called topological insulators (TIs). Recently there has been a breakthrough towards this goal: Dissipationless flow of current has been achieved in TIs when it enters a quantum state without any external magnetic fields — although, as of now, only at extremely low temperatures, its potential can be significant if the operating temperature could be raised. Topological insulators allow the free flow of electrons only on their surface while blocking the flow of electrons through their bulk. MIT postdoc Cui-Zu Chang, then a doctoral student at Tsinghua University in China, and colleagues at Chinese Academy of Sciences-Institute of Physics, Tsinghua, and Stanford University, reported the experimental demonstration of electrons flowing only along the edge of a topological insulator film circuit, driven by an internal magnetic field, which physicists call the quantum anomalous Hall effect. To provide internal magnetism for their circuit, they added chromium to their material, which was composed of bismuth, antimony, and tellurium. However, the Tsinghua system still showed remnants of electrical resistance to the edge current, frustratingly close to zero resistance. Improving upon his earlier work, Chang and colleagues in the group of Jagadeesh Moodera, along with collaborators from Penn State, Stanford and Northeastern University, achieved robust quantum anomalous Hall state and near dissipationless electron transport in topological insulators. Chang and colleagues at MIT replaced chromium with vanadium to obtain atomically thin layers of their magnetic topological insulators. They stacked sample films of this material on a base of strontium titanate. They reported early results of this work in Nature Materials in May 2015, achieving very slight resistance to current flowing lengthwise along their sample. Via local and nonlocal measurements, Chang and colleagues at MIT and Penn State University with further optimization achieved zero resistance to current flowing lengthwise along the edge of their sample circuit at the extremely low temperature of 25 millikelvins (0.025 kelvins), a state physicists call “dissipationless chiral edge transport.” This lack of resistance is independent of length, they say in a Physical Review Letters paper published in July 2015. Moodera’s group is part of the Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory and MIT Department of Physics. “In this system, there is a very special edge channel,” Chang explains. “The bulk is insulating but the chiral edge channel is metallic and spin polarized, so it’s very useful for the next generation electronics and spintronics with low power consumption.” “A signal entering this system can propagate a long distance without losing any of its energy. While presently it can only be realized at very low temperatures, there are indications that this can be raised,” Chang says. Observing this kind of quantum anomalous Hall state below 1 kelvin requires a special piece of equipment called a cryostat, so work continues to produce this effect at a higher temperature. Adding an extra element such as chromium or vanadium to introduce a special property (such as magnetism) to a material is known as doping. The vanadium-doped system showed three distinct advantages over the chromium-doped system: • twofold increase in the temperature above which the material loses magnetism (its Curie temperature), allowing the vanadium system to operate at zero resistance at a slightly higher but still very cold temperature; • 10 times increase in the stability of its intrinsic magnetism (its coercive field); and • one-half reduction in its carrier density. The vanadium system spontaneously shows magnetism at below about 23 kelvins. Results show this quantum anomalous Hall state can survive in a vanadium-doped system up to 5 kelvins (-450 degrees Fahrenheit). However, above 5 kelvins, the effect disappears and the normal resistance of the bulk material appears. While their sample film is still extremely thin — about 4 nanometers — the device studied is about 1 mm long by 0.4 mm wide, which is relatively large compared with other studies of quantum spintronic phenomena. “We make this kind of sample so big to preserve the delicate properties of the film. These films are very sensitive to water and air, which degrades the film properties,” Chang explains. Chang worked for five years in his doctoral studies at Tsinghua University searching for the quantum anomalous Hall effect, which was predicted in 1988 by F. Duncan M. Haldane at Princeton, he notes. “In a recent theoretical paper, no quantum anomalous Hall effect was predicted in a vanadium-doped topological insulator, whereas we experimentally showed the opposite is true, that this system is better for observing quantum anomalous Hall effect!” Chang says. The 2006 discovery of topological insulators made the realization of quantum anomalous Hall effect practical. Chang cites three conditions to realize this effect: atomically flat thin TI film; introducing magnetism into the TI film; and tuning the chemical potential (Fermi level) into the gap induced by magnetism. After an intense search, Chang first observed the quantum anomalous Hall state in Oct. 9, 2012, in a sample of chromium-doped bismuth antimony, simultaneously showing a noticeable decrease in longitudinal resistance, according to a report on the evolution of their work published Feb. 26 in the Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter. Separately, a group at Tokyo University which included Joseph Checkelsky, now assistant professor of physics at MIT, confirmed the Tsinghua work and also observed the quantum anomalous Hall effect in the same system, Chang says. “If you can realize this effect at room temperature, it will significantly change our life. You can use this kind of effect to develop quantum electronics including the quantum computer,” Chang says. “In this kind of computer, there is minimal heating effect; the current flow is completely dissipationless; and you can also communicate over very long distance.” Although a superconductor can also reach zero resistance at low temperature, it is not spin-polarized, so it can transfer only electrical information but not spin information, Chang explains. The advantage of the quantum anomalous Hall effect, or topological edge state, is that the edge current is spin-polarized and robust, so it can be used to transfer information. Chang, 30, is originally from the Chinese kite-making city of Weifang, in Shandong province. He received his bachelor’s in optical engineering at Shandong University in China and doctorate in physics at Tsinghua University. His wife, Jia Song, has a PhD in mathematics from Tsinghua University. Chang’s work is supported by the Center for Integrated Quantum Materials under NSF grant DMR-1231319. A third-year postdoc in the Moodera group, he is looking for a faculty position in the fall.


News Article
Site: http://news.mit.edu/topic/mitenergy-rss.xml

MIT Physics Department Senior Research Scientist Jagadeesh S. Moodera was one of the pioneers in the field of spin-polarized magnetic tunnel junctions, which led to a thousand-fold increase in hard disk storage capacity. Using his group’s expertise working with atomically thin materials that exhibit exotic features, Moodera is laying a step-by-step foundation toward a new generation of quantum computers. Moodera’s group is making progress toward devices that display resistance-free, spin-polarized electrical current; memory storage at the level of single molecules; and capture the elusive paired electron “halves” known as Majorana fermions, which are sought after as qubits for quantum computing. This work combines materials that allow the free flow of electrons only on their surface (topological insulators) with other materials that lose their resistance to electricity (superconductors). Researchers call mixed layers of these materials heterostructures. A key goal is to push these effects up from ultracold temperatures to ordinary temperatures for everyday use. “Our group specializes in the growth and understanding the physical phenomena at the atomic level of any number of exotic combinations of these materials plus heterostructures with different other materials such as ferromagnetic layers or superconductors and so on,” Moodera says. Majorana fermions, which can be thought of as a paired “electron halves,” may lead to creating quantum entanglement believed necessary for quantum computers. “Our first goal is to look for the Majorana fermions, unambiguously detect them, and show this is it. It’s been the goal for many people for a long time. It’s one of those things predicted 80 years ago, and yet to be shown in a conclusive manner,” Moodera says. Moodera’s group is searching for these Majorana fermions on the surface of gold, a phenomenon predicted in 2012 by William and Emma Rogers Professor of Physics Patrick Lee and Andrew C. Potter PhD ’13. “I have a lot of hope that it’s going to come up with something very interesting, this particular area is exotically rich,” Moodera says. His team reported progress toward this goal in a Nano Letters paper published on March 4. Postdoc Peng Wei, with fellow Moodera group postdocs Ferhat Katmis and Cui-Zu Chang, demonstrate that epitaxial (111)-oriented gold thin films become superconducting when grown on top of superconducting vanadium film. The vanadium becomes a superconductor below 4 kelvins, which is hundreds of degrees below room temperature. Tests show that the surface state of (111)-oriented gold also becomes superconducting, which holds out potential for this system in the search for Majorana fermions. Future work will seek to detect Majorana fermions on the ends of (111)-oriented gold nanowires. “In this kind of nanowire, in principle, we would expect Majorana fermion states to exist at the end of the nanowire instead of in the middle,” Wei explains. Moodera says, “We have not discovered Majorana fermions yet, however, we have made a very nice foundation for that.” Further results will be published soon. In a series of 2015 papers, Moodera’s group demonstrated the first reported truly zero-resistance edge current in the quantum anomalous Hall state of a topological insulator system, realizing a 1988 prediction by F. Duncan M. Haldane at Princeton University. The importance of comprehensive achievements of perfect quantum anomalous Hall state at zero magnetic field as well as the demonstration of dissipationless chiral edge current in a topological insulator is well brought out in a Journal Club for Condensed Matter Physics commentary by Harvard University Professor Bertrand I. Halperin, a pioneer in the field. “In this system, there is a very special edge state. The bulk is insulating, but the edge is metallic,” says Cui-Zu Chang, lead author of the Nature Materials paper and Physical Review Letters paper published in April and July 2015. “Our group is the first to show a completely dissipationless edge state, meaning that the resistance for current flow exactly becomes zero when the quantum state is reached at low temperatures,” Chang says. “If one can realize this effect, for example, at room temperature, it will be remarkably valuable. You can use this kind of effect to develop quantum electronics including the quantum computer,” Chang says. “In this kind of computer, there is minimal heating effect; the current flow is completely dissipationless; and you can also communicate over very long distance.” In a 2013 paper with collaborators from Northeastern University, Göttingen University in Germany and Spence High School in New York, Moodera and MIT postdoc Bin Li demonstrated a superconducting spin switch in a structure sandwiching an aluminum layer between europium sulfide layers. In this work, the intrinsic magnetization of europium sulfide controls superconductivity in the aluminum layer. The direction of magnetization in europium sulfide can be reversed, which can thereby switch the aluminum between superconducting and normal states, making it potentially useful for logic circuits and nonvolatile memory applications a step in the direction of superconducting spintronics. These experiments validated a theoretical prediction 50 years ago by French Nobel Laureate Pierre-Gilles deGennes. Several years ago Guoxing Miao, then a junior researcher with Moodera, observed a unique energy profile across a sandwich structure made with metallic islands confined within two europium sulfide magnetic insulator barriers. This arrangement of the inherent large energy separation in the nano islands combined with the large interfacial magnetic field confined at the interface and the spin selective transmission property of the adjacent europium sulfide powerfully modifies the two-dimensional electronic structures. They observed spin-assisted charge transfer across such a device, generating a spontaneous spin current and voltage. These unique properties can be practical for controlling spin flows in electronic devices and for energy harvesting. Published in Nature Communications in April 2014, these were unexpected fundamental results, Moodera says. Guoxing Miao is an assistant professor at University of Waterloo and Institute for Quantum Computing in Canada. More recently, the researchers paired europium sulfide with graphene, creating a strong edge current, which they reported March 28 in Nature Materials. “What we find is very exciting,” postdoc Peng Wei, lead author of the paper, says: “Experiments show a strong magnetic field (more than 14 Tesla) experienced by graphene originating in the europium sulfide that polarizes the spins of electrons in the graphene layer without affecting the orbital motion of the electrons.” In the device, europium sulfide produces a large field, called a magnetic exchange field, which raises the energy of spin-up electrons and lowers the energy of spin-down electrons in graphene and creates an edge current with spin-up electrons streaming in one direction and spin-down electrons streaming in the opposite direction. These effects are brought about by the confinement of electrons in these atomically thin devices, fellow postdoc Ferhat Katmis explains. At the interface between europium sulfide, which is a magnetic insulator, and graphene, Peng Wei explains, the graphene can “feel” the huge exchange field, or internal magnetism, which can reach millions times bigger than the Earth’s magnetic field, from the europium sulfide. This effect is potentially useful for spin-based memory and logic devices and possibly quantum computing. Moodera was a guest editor of the July 2014 MRS Bulletin, which highlighted progress in organic spintronics. Controlling magnetic behavior at the interface of the materials is again the key element in this approach. By adding magnetic sensing capability to these large organic molecules (up to hundreds of atoms per molecule), their magnetic orientation can be switched back and forth. This work holds promise to serve as photo-switches, color displays, and information storage units at the molecular level. These molecules can start out completely non-magnetic, but when they are placed on the surface of a magnetic material, their behavior changes. “They share electrons at the interface. These molecules share some of their electrons into the ferromagnetic layer or the ferromagnetic layer actually gives out some of its electrons carrying with it the magnetic behavior,” Moodera explains. Electrons from the magnetic material carry a magnetic signature, which influences the organic molecule to switch between resistive and conductive states. This collaborative work between researchers in the U.S., Germany, and India was published as a Nature Letter paper in 2013. Moodera and co-inventor Karthik V. Raman PhD ’11 were issued a patent in May 2014 for high-density molecular memory storage. It is one of four patents issued to Moodera and colleagues. “We have shown early stages of such a possibility of these molecules being used for storing information,” Moodera says. “This is what we want to explore. This will allow us to store information in molecules in the future.” He projects that molecular storage can increase storage density by 1,000 to 10,000 times compared to current technology. “That gives you an idea of how powerful it can become,” he says. Organic molecules have other advantages as well, he says, including lower cost, less energy consumption, flexibility and more environmentally friendly materials. “But it’s a very, very huge area, almost untapped direction where many unprecedented new phenomena might emerge if it can be patiently investigated fundamentally,” he cautions. Moodera is currently seeking long-term funding for this research into permanent memory devices using magnetic single molecules. “It’s a visionary program which means somebody has to be patient,” Moodera explains. “We are quite capable of doing this here if we get good support. ... Everything has to be looked at and understood, and then go further, so there is no set a priori recipe for this!” In 2009, Moodera and two MIT colleagues (the late Robert Meservey and Paul Tedrow, then group leader) shared the Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize from the American Physical Society with Terunobu Miyazaki from Tohuku University in Japan for "pioneering work in the field of spin-dependent tunneling and for the application of these phenomena to the field of magnetoelectronics (also called spintronics)." “Jagadeesh Moodera and team were the first to show magnetoresistance from a magnetic tunnel junction at room temperature — a fundamental discovery that has enabled rapid growth of data storage capacity. All hard disk drives made since 2005 have a MTJ as the read sensor,” says Tiffany Santos ’02, PhD ’07, a former Moodera lab member who now works as a principal research engineer at HGST in San Francisco. As a materials science undergraduate and then doctoral student in Moodera's group, Santos explored spin-polarized tunneling in MTJs made of novel materials such as magnetic semiconductors and organic molecules. Santos was awarded best thesis prize from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering both for her BS and PhD theses. In common bar magnets, which have north and south poles, two magnets are attracted if opposite poles face, but will repel if the same poles face each other. Similarly, in a magnetic tunnel junction, the current flow across the layered materials will behave differently depending on whether the magnetism of the layers points in the same, or in the opposite, direction — either resisting the flow of current or enhancing it. This spin tunneling work, which dates to the 1990s, revealed that pairing two thin magnetic materials separated by a thin insulator causes electrons to move, or “quantum tunnel,” through the insulator from one magnet to the other, which is why it is called a magnetic tunnel junction. “This change in the current flow, very significant, can be detected very easily,” Moodera says. Since these magnetic materials are atomically thin, rather than north and south poles, their magnetism is associated with the up or down spin of electrons, which is a quantum property, and they are characterized as parallel when their spins are in alignment, or antiparallel when their spins point in the opposite directions. “So all you have to do is change from parallel to anti-parallel orientation, and there you have this beautiful spin sensor, or spin memory,” Moodera says. “This spin memory is non-volatile; that’s the most striking thing about it. You can set this particular device in a particular orientation, leave it alone, after a million years it’ll be still like that; meaning that the information which is stored here will be permanent.” Institute Professor Mildred S. Dresselhaus has known Moodera for many years, initially through his work using magnetic fields for materials research. Moodera, she says, developed expertise in spin phenomena long before they became popular topics in science and he has attained similar status in topological insulators. “His career has been all like that. He works for the love of science, and he’s not particularly interested in recognition,” Dresselhaus adds. Although Moodera has never been a faculty member, he works effectively with students and he finds his own support, she notes. “MIT is a place that can accommodate people like him,” Dresselhaus says. Limited funding means the U.S. is in danger of losing its leadership role in research, Moodera fears. He involves high school students and undergraduates (nearly 150 so far) in his research, many becoming coauthors in the publications and patents. “When we tell the young students and postdocs, ‘Oh, physics is wonderful, you should get into research, you really can discover many things that are exciting and valuable’, we are not actually telling the whole story. Despite funding support from National Science Foundation and Office of Naval Research for our program, there is increasing uncertainty and pressure to raise research funds. ... With constant struggle for funds, one spends much time in dealing with these issues. ... We wish there is reliable and continuous support when the track record is good. Science is like art — if creative breakthroughs are needed, then the proper support should be there with long-term vision, with freedom to explore, and without breaks and uncertainties. When one looks at some of the breakthroughs we have achieved so far — magnetic tunnel junctions that drives all hard drives in computers, prototype molecular spin memory, nonvolatile perfect superconducting spin memory/switch or even the latest totally spin-polarized edge current which is perfectly dissipationless, evidently the foundations for tomorrow’s cutting edge technology, isn’t it crystal clear that such a research program be unequivocally supported to benefit our society?” he asks. Despite his lab’s prominence in spintronics and topological insulators, making further progress in the current research environment means he depends on federal and other outside grants. “If I don’t have funding, I close the shop,” he says. “Everything moves so fast, you cannot wait for tomorrow. Everything has to happen today, that’s the unfortunate thing dealing with uncertainty. It’s a lot of pressure and stress on us, particularly in the last 10 years. The funding situation has become so volatile that we are kept under the dark cloud, constantly concerned about what is coming next.” Yet the situation has not always been so. During a tour of his lab facilities, Moodera recalls a phone call (over 20 years ago) from an Office of Naval Research (ONR) program director, Krystl Hathaway, who suggested there was money available, his work was high-quality, and that he should apply. “That was when I had only a month or two of funds left to sustain a research program! So, I said yes! I couldn’t believe it in the beginning,” he recalls. “I put in a one-page application. In a week’s time she sent me the money to tidy me out for four months. After that, I put in a real, several-page proposal for a full grant, and she supported my research program for over 10 years. Two years after this support started, research led to the discovery of the phenomenon called the tunnel magnetoresistance in 1994-95, which besides creating a vast new area of research, is also instrumental in the explosion of unbelievable storage capacity and speed in computer hard drives as we enjoy today at rock bottom cost. Most notable is that this work was mainly done with a summer high school intern who later joined MIT [Lisa Kinder, '99] and an undergraduate [Terrilyn Wong '97].” Later, when the same program officer was at a Materials Research Society (MRS) meeting in Boston, she visited Moodera’s lab and noticed the age of a key piece of thin film equipment used in creating the tunnel magnetoresistance breakthrough. It was then about 35 years old and had been cobbled together mostly from salvaged parts. Again she volunteered to provide substantial funding to build specialized equipment for a technique called molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), which is used to create ultra-clean thin films, atomic layer by atomic layer. On vacation in India, Moodera got a phone call from a physics administrator (the late Margaret O'Meara), telling him Hathaway from ONR was urgently looking for him. “I came back the next day, and then I spent four hours writing a proposal, which another two hours later was submitted from MIT. It all happened in one day essentially, and one week later I got $350,000, which built our first MBE system,” he says. “It’s a very versatile system that even after 20 years continues to deliver big results in the growth and investigation of the field of quantum coherent materials at present. By carefully planning and optimizing we even got some other critical parts that we needed for our other equipment in the lab.” “Dr. Hathaway, and then subsequently Dr. Chagaan Baatar, the new program director at ONR, were very happy that we produced a lot more things in the new system. It made a huge difference in our program. So that’s how sometimes it works out, and fundamental research should be supported if one looks for breakthroughs!” he says. “People come in and see, 'these people need support'. So that kind of thing should happen now, I think.” Funding for basic science has to increase by manyfold, Moodera suggests. “The future is actually created and defined now. Evidently it’s very important then. If you don’t invest now, there is no future development. A vision for fundamental knowledge buildup is strongly eroding in the country now, and thus needs to be corrected before it reaches the point of no return,” he says. Moodera has been at MIT for over three decades, where his group is part of the Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory (which is now under Plasma Science and Fusion Center) and the Department of Physics. Moodera’s lab equipment ranges from the newest two-story scanning tunneling microscope that can examine atomic surfaces and molecules under extreme cold and high magnetic fields to a 1960s’ vintage glass liquid helium cryostat, which still sees frequent use. “It’s not the equipment. It’s how you think about a problem and solve it, that’s our way of looking at things. ... We train real scientists here; ones that can really think, come up with something out of essentially nothing. To start from basic atoms and molecules and actually build things, completely new and understand the emerging phenomena; unexpected science can come out of it,” Moodera says. “This group has solved important physics in ferromagnetism,” postdoc Peng Wei says. “We actually have very unique equipment that cannot be seen in other labs.” A native of Bangalore, India, Moodera plays badminton, ping-pong, and tennis, and he follows world tennis, soccer, and cricket. With his wife, MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering senior lecturer Geetha Berera, Moodera likes to hike and enjoy nature. His hobbies include gardening and bird watching.

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