Nitrogen-vacancy centers -- flaws in a diamond's crystal lattice that produce color -- have received much attention for their sensitivity to magnetic fields. Researchers have now used N-V diamond sensors to detect the tiny magnetic fluctuations that occur on the surface of high-temperature superconductors in hopes of discovering how these much ballyhooed but still mysterious materials work. With their chip sensor, they hope to measure the properties of a single magnetic vortex.
Minuscule waves that propagate across atom -- thin layers of crystal could carry information, light, and heat in nanoscale devices. For the first time, the frequency and amplitude of these waves, called surface phonon polaritons, can be tuned by altering the number of layers of crystals, and they travel far making practical applications for these signals feasible.
Scientists have made major improvements in computer processing using an emerging class of magnetic materials called 'multiferroics,' and these advances could make future devices far more energy-efficient than current technologies.