(Updated on Nov 1, 2020)
We review the recent, mainly theoretical, progress in the study of topological nodal line semimetals in three dimensions. In these semimetals, the conduction and the valence bands cross each other along a one-dimensional curve in the three-dimensional Brillouin zone, and any perturbation that preserves a certain symmetry group (generated by either spatial symmetries or time-reversal symmetry) cannot remove this crossing line and open a full direct gap between the two bands. The nodal line(s) is hence topologically protected by the symmetry group, and can be associated with a topological invariant. In this review, (i) we enumerate the symmetry groups that may protect a topological nodal line; (ii) we write down the explicit form of the topological invariant for each of these symmetry groups in terms of the wave functions on the Fermi surface, establishing a topological classification; (iii) for certain classes, we review the proposals for the realization of these semimetals in real materials; (iv) we discuss different scenarios that when the protecting symmetry is broken, how a topological nodal line semimetal becomes Weyl semimetals, Dirac semimetals, and other topological phases; and (v) we discuss the possible physical effects accessible to experimental probes in these materials.
Based upon advances in theoretical algorithms, modeling and simulations, and computer technologies, the rational design of materials, cells, devices, and packs in the field of lithium-ion batteries is being realized incrementally and will at some point trigger a paradigm revolution by combining calculations and experiments linked by a big shared database, enabling accelerated development of the whole industrial chain. Theory and multi-scale modeling and simulation, as supplements to experimental efforts, can help greatly to close some of the current experimental and technological gaps, as well as predict path-independent properties and help to fundamentally understand path-independent performance in multiple spatial and temporal scales.
The magnetocaloric effect (MCE) in many rare earth (RE) based intermetallic compounds has been extensively investigated during the last two decades, not only due to their potential applications for magnetic refrigeration but also for better understanding of the fundamental problems of the materials. This paper reviews our recent progress on studying the magnetic properties and MCE in some binary or ternary intermetallic compounds of RE with low boiling point metal(s) (Zn, Mg, and Cd). Some of them exhibit promising MCE properties, which make them attractive for low temperature magnetic refrigeration. Characteristics of the magnetic transition, origin of large MCE, as well as the potential application of these compounds are thoroughly discussed. Additionally, a brief review of the magnetic and magnetocaloric properties in the quaternary rare earth nickel boroncarbides RENi2B2C superconductors is also presented.
This paper reviews some of the recent progresses in the study of high temperature superconductivity in the interface between a single unit cell FeSe and SrTiO3. It offers the author’s personal view of why Tc is high and how to further increase it.
Epoxy-based composites containing montmorillonite (MMT) modified by silylation reaction with γ-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (γ-APTES) and 3-(glycidyloxypropyl) trimethoxysilane (GPTMS) are successfully prepared. The effects of filler loading and surface modification on the electrical and thermal properties of the epoxy/MMT composites are investigated. Compared with the pure epoxy resin, the epoxy/MMT composite, whether MMT is surface-treated or not, shows low dielectric permittivity, low dielectric loss, and enhanced dielectric strength. The MMT in the epoxy/MMT composite also influences the thermal properties of the composite by improving the thermal conductivity and stability. Surface functionalization of MMT not only conduces to the better dispersion of the nanoparticles, but also significantly affects the electric and thermal properties of the hybrid by influencing the interfaces between MMT and epoxy resin. Improved interfaces are good for enhancing the electric and thermal properties of nanocomposites. What is more, the MMT modified with GPTMS rather than γ-APTES is found to have greater influence on improving the interface between the MMT filler and polymer matrices, thus resulting in lower dielectric loss, lower electric conductivity, higher breakdown strength, lower thermal conductivity, and higher thermal stability.
Layered oxides of P2-type Na0.68Cu0.34Mn0.66O2, P2-type Na0.68Cu0.34Mn0.50Ti0.16O2, and O'3-type NaCu0.67Sb0.33O2 were synthesized and evaluated as cathode materials for room-temperature sodium-ion batteries. The first two materials can deliver a capacity of around 70 mAh/g. The Cu2+ is oxidized to Cu3+ during charging, and the Cu3+ goes back to Cu2+ upon discharging. This is the first demonstration of the highly reversible change of the redox couple of Cu2+/Cu3+ with high storage potential in secondary batteries.
A plasmonic refractive index (RI) sensor with high RI sensitivity based on a gold composite structure is proposed. This composite structure is constructed from a perfect gold nano-disk square array on a gold film, with a SiO2 spacer. The reflection spectra of the composite structure, with analyte RI in the range of 1.30 to 1.40, are theoretically studied using the finite-difference time-domain method. The incident light beam is partly coupled to the localized surface plasmons (LSP) of the single nano-disks and partly transferred to the propagating surface plasmons (PSP) by grating coupling. The reflectivity is nearly zero at the valley of the reflection spectrum because of the strong coupling between LSP and PSP. Also, the full width at half maximum (FWHM) of one of the surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) modes is very narrow, which is helpful for RI sensing. An RI sensitivity as high as 853 nm/RIU is obtained. The influence of the structure parameters on the RI sensitivity and the sensor figure of merit (FOM) are investigated in detail. We find that the sensor maintains high RI sensitivity over a large range of periods and nano-disk diameters. Results of the theoretical simulation of the composite structure as a plasmonic sensor are promising. Thus, this composite structure could be extensively applied in the fields of biology and chemistry.
The scientific basis of all-solid-state lithium batteries with inorganic solid electrolytes is reviewed briefly, touching upon solid electrolytes, electrode materials, electrolyte/electrode interface phenomena, fabrication, and evaluation. The challenges and prospects are outlined as well.
It has long been noticed that special lattices contain single-electron flat bands (FB) without any dispersion. Since the kinetic energy of electrons is quenched in the FB, this highly degenerate energy level becomes an ideal platform to achieve strongly correlated electronic states, such as magnetism, superconductivity, and Wigner crystal. Recently, the FB has attracted increasing interest because of the possibility to go beyond the conventional symmetry-breaking phases towards topologically ordered phases, such as lattice versions of fractional quantum Hall states. This article reviews different aspects of FBs in a nutshell. Starting from the standard band theory, we aim to bridge the frontier of FBs with the textbook solidstate physics. Then, based on concrete examples, we show the common origin of FBs in terms of destructive interference, and discuss various many-body phases associated with such a singular band structure. In the end, we demonstrate real FBs in quantum frustrated materials and organometallic frameworks.
Two-dimensional (2D) materials, such as graphene, phosphorene, and transition metal dichalcogenides (e.g., MoS2 and WS2), have attracted a great deal of attention recently due to their extraordinary structural, mechanical, and physical properties. In particular, 2D materials have shown great potential for thermal management and thermoelectric energy generation. In this article, we review the recent advances in the study of thermal properties of 2D materials. We first review some important aspects in thermal conductivity of graphene and discuss the possibility to enhance the ultra-high thermal conductivity of graphene. Next, we discuss thermal conductivity of MoS2 and the new strategy for thermal management of MoS2 device. Subsequently, we discuss the anisotropic thermal properties of phosphorene. Finally, we review the application of 2D materials in thermal devices, including thermal rectifier and thermal modulator.
In this paper, we introduce a new two-dimensional nonlinear oscillator with an infinite number of coexisting limit cycles. These limit cycles form a layer-by-layer structure which is very unusual. Forty percent of these limit cycles are self-excited attractors while sixty percent of them are hidden attractors. Changing this new system to its forced version, we introduce a new chaotic system with an infinite number of coexisting strange attractors. We implement this system through field programmable gate arrays.