For nearly 60 years, scientists have been trying to determine how manganese oxide (MnO) achieves its long-range magnetic order of alternating up and down electron spins. Simon Billinge and Benjamin Frandsen used their recently developed mathematical approach to study the short-range magnetic interactions that they believe drive this long-range order. The research was described in a paper published on May 11 in Physical Review Letters. Photo credit: Columbia Engineering/Timothy Lee Photographers.
High-performance energy storage devices will be key to a sustainable future, allowing cell phones to go longer between recharging, increasing mileage for electric vehicles, and stabilizing the power output of solar and wind energy. “Advanced batteries will be a game changer for addressing global challenges of energy sustainability and environmental stewardship,” says Yuan Yang, assistant professor of materials science and engineering. “Now is a really exciting time to work in batteries and energy storage.”
Professors Latha Venkataraman and Michal Lipson each received a Research Initiatives in Science and Engineering (RISE) grant. The RISE competition was created to provide Columbia faculty and research scientists with the initial funding necessary to explore paradigm-shifting and high-risk ideas. In this competition, Columbia follows the National Institutes of Health definition of high-risk research as having “an inherent high degree of uncertainty, and the capability to produce a major impact on important problems.”
Simon J. L. Billinge, professor of materials science and applied physics, recently received a major grant from the NSF to help advance his innovative approach to cut the cost of designing custom materials for high-performance devices such as photovoltaics and batteries. The three-year, $983,000 grant, part of a high-profile initiative to fast-track the discovery of new materials, supports research at Columbia University and the National Synchrotron Light Source II at Brookhaven National Lab where samples are bombarded with high-energy X-ray beams to probe their nanostructure.
Katayun Barmak, Philips Electronics Professor of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics and Materials Science and Engineering, was the program co-chair, together with Dr. Atsufumi Hirohata of the University of York, UK, of the 13th Joint Magnetism and Magnetic Materials and Intermag Conference. The Conference was held in San Diego, CA, January 11-15, 2016, and with over 1800 attendees from 50 countries and 1850 oral and poster presentations, it was one of the largest Joint Conferences in its history.