First-ever direct observation of chiral currents in quantum Hall atomic simulation

Using an atomic quantum simulator, scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have achieved the first-ever direct observation of chiral currents in the model topological insulator, the 2-D integer quantum Hall system. Topological Insulators (TIs) are arguably the most promising class of materials discovered in recent years, with many potential applications theorized. That’s because … Read more

Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics. “The structural robustness of … Read more

The Inverse Faraday Effect, Laser Light and Magnetization of Metals: Addressing Fundamental Limits of Ultrafast Devices

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Korean Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) have uncovered physical mechanisms that enable laser light to alter the magnetization of a metal. “In our study, we illuminate thin layers of the cobalt, iron or nickel with pulses of laser light that have a duration of … Read more

Nanopores could map small changes in DNA that signal big shifts in cancer

Detecting cancer early, just as changes are beginning in DNA, could enhance diagnosis and treatment as well as further our understanding of the disease. A new study by University of Illinois researchers describes a method to detect, count and map tiny additions to DNA called methylations, which can be a warning sign of cancer, with … Read more

CRISPR mines bacterial genome for hidden pharmaceutical treasure

In the fight against disease, many weapons in the medicinal arsenal have been plundered from bacteria themselves. Using CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology, researchers now have uncovered even more potential treasure hidden in silent genes. A new study from researchers at the University of Illinois and colleagues at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore … Read more

Gray tin exhibits novel topological electronic properties in 3D

Alpha-tin joins two other known materials in class of topological Dirac semimetals  In a surprising new discovery, alpha-tin, commonly called gray tin, exhibits a novel electronic phase when its crystal structure is strained, putting it in a rare new class of 3D materials called topological Dirac semimetals (TDSs). Only two other TDS materials are known … Read more

Researchers partner with Adobe to revolutionize visual SFX

Spiderman, Man of Steel, The Matrix, Game of Thrones, and even Boardwalk Empire wouldn’t be the same without green-screen technology. Most moviegoers recognize the signature solid green backdrops in pre-production still images and understand that the final product will have fantastic backgrounds, sizeable crowds, or special effects in the green-screen’s space. But a new paper … Read more

Parity-time symmetry breaking in an electrically injected, room temperature VCSEL array demonstrated for the first time

A team of University of Illinois researchers at the Micro + Nanotechnology Lab recently applied new theoretical physics concepts to enhance the performance of a well-established semiconductor laser technology. In a paper published in Optica, Kent Choquette, a professor of electrical and computer engineering (ECE), and his group reported parity-time (PT) symmetry breaking in an … Read more

Illinois researchers create first exact model for diffusion in magnesium alloys

The movement of atoms in solids controls everything. In order to develop new materials, material engineers need to be able to predict how fast impurity atoms diffuse, or spread, in a crystal over a range of temperatures. Using new computational techniques, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have constructed the first exact model … Read more

Can data analytics help you fill out a March Madness bracket?

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament – commonly known as March Madness – begins March 14. Millions of college basketball enthusiasts will be filling out their brackets, hoping to predict the outcome of all the games. Computer science professor Sheldon H. Jacobson discusses patterns he’s observed in the tournament and how data analytics can provide guidance … Read more