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Program Highlights for year 2011

Vortices and Antivortices on a Crosstie Wall

On the left is a magnetic force microscope (MFM) image of a CoFeB

Jamming as Enabling Technology for Soft Robotics

Basic science concepts developed in IRG1 about jamming of granular materials enabled the development of a new class of soft robotic systems.

MRSEC-Inspired Exhibits at the Exploratorium

Since 2006, members of the University of Chicago MRSEC have visited the Exploratorium and hosted reverse-visits by Exploratorium artists and scientists. The long-term goal is the realization of MRSEC-inspired exhibits on the Exploratorium floor.

EXAFS Studies of Local Structure in MTJ

Background: CoFeB-MgO magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) are leading spintronic devices that relies on quantum Mechanical tunneling of electrons from one magnetic metal (CoFeB) to another across an insulating barrier of MgO. The electrical resistance of such MTJs is dictated by the orientation of the two CoFeB metals, parallel or antiparallel.

High School Student Research Internships at the Johns Hopkins

Background: The JHU MRSEC conducts extensive K-12 educational outreach programs aimed at promoting interest in and awareness of the importance of modern materials research. High school students from the greater Baltimore area receive four-week internships each July to conduct research in the laboratories of the JHU MRSEC. The students are

Dynamics of Magnetic Charges in Spin Ice

Background: A bar magnet has two poles, denoted as +1 and -1 magnetic charges.  Patterned structuresconsist of many magnets (Fig. 1), where the square array (Fig. 1a) does not, whereas the honeycomb (Fig. 1b) has, net magnetic charges (or magnetic monopoles).  Under a magnetic field these local

Self-beating plastic gels can be induced to change size and color on demand

Special types of plastic gels that can be induced chemically to undergo self-oscillating changes in shape and color have been known for many years.

Nanostructured carbon electrodes improve performance of batteries and capacitors

The continued evolution of portable electronic devices and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) requires multi-functional microscale energy sources that have high po