Department of Materials, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Inorganic nanomaterials: 1500 years of success story
Inorganic nanomaterials have been employed in architecture, art and science for centuries. In comparison to such ancient applications, nanoscale effects are nowadays studied and implemented in a more rational way, although many discoveries in nanoscience and nanotechnology are still based on trial-and-error experiments. The talk will have a closer look at the history of inorganic nanomaterials from their ancient use in pottery and glass making several centuries ago to the most important discoveries in the 20th century. Based on selected examples, we will show the fascination of inorganic nanomaterials' synthesis, their size- and shape-dependent properties, their assembly behavior, and their great potential in diverse applications that cover nearly the whole range of modern technology.
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Dr. David Mandrus,
Spin fluctuations in Fe-based superconductors: What have we learned?
Spin fluctuations are widely believed to be involved in the pairing mechanism of Fe-based superconductors. In this talk Dr. Mandrus will review what we have learned about spin fluctuations from experiment, with a particular focus on neutron scattering and NMR measurements. The talk will also discuss the effects of spin and nematic fluctuations on the elastic properties of the Fe-based materials. Lastly, he will discuss how this information can be applied to help us discover new superconductors.
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Dr. Tsuyoshi Kimura, Osaka University, Japan
Current progress of research on spin-driven ferroelectrics
The discoveries of gigantic ferroelectric polarization in BiFeO3 and ferroelectricity accompanied by a magnetic order in TbMnO3 have renewed interest in research on magnetoelectric multiferroics, materials in which magnetic and ferroelectric orders coexist, from both fundamental and technological points of view. Among several different types of magnetoelectric multiferroics, magnetically-induced ferroelectrics in which ferroelectricity is induced by complex magnetic orders, such as spiral orders, exhibit giant magnetoelectric effects, remarkable changes in electric polarization in response to a magnetic field. In spiral magnets, inversion symmetry is broken owing to magnetic order, and some spiral-ordered structures such as a cycloidal one make the system polar. This means that a magnetic order can induce ferroelectricity. Because spiral order often arises from the competition between nearest-neighbor and further-neighbor magnetic interactions, systems containing competing magnetic interactions (spin frustration) are promising candidates for magnetoelectric multiferroics. Thus, it is no longer so difficult to find new magnetoelectric multiferroics. Indeed, on the basis of this strategy several new magnetoelectric multiferroics related to spiral magnetic orders have been discovered in the past few years. However, most of them operate only at low temperatures (<~40 K). This is mainly because competing magnetic interactions that play a role in producing spiral magnetic structures often reduce the magnetic ordering temperature. In this presentation, I discuss a trial to develop new magnetoelectric multiferroics, in particular, which shows remarkable magnetoelectric effects at high temperatures.
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The Seventh International Conference on Inorganic Materials is the latest in a series of interdisciplinary conferences devoted to all aspects of inorganic materials research. Over the last decade there has been a dramatic growth of interest in inorganic materials that exhibit unusual properties which may lead to new applications. Following on from the success of previous events in the series the meeting will provide an opportunity to highlight recent developments and to identify emerging and future areas of growth in this exciting field.