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  1. Nickel-based superalloys and near-equiatomic high-entropy alloys containing molybdenum are known for higher temperature strength and corrosion resistance. Yet, complex solid-solution alloys offer a huge design space to tune for optimal properties at slightly reduced entropy. For refractory Mo-W-Ta-Ti-Zr, we showcase KKR electronic structure methods via the coherent-potential approximation to identify alloys over five-dimensional design space with improved mechanical properties and necessary global (formation enthalpy) and local (short-range order) stability. Deformation is modeled with classical molecular dynamic simulations, validated from our first-principle data. We predict complex solid-solution alloys of improved stability with greatly enhanced modulus of elasticity (3× at 300 K)more » over near-equiatomic cases, as validated experimentally, and with higher moduli above 500 K over commercial alloys (2.3× at 2000 K). We also show that optimal complex solid-solution alloys are not described well by classical potentials due to critical electronic effects.« less
  2. A family of isostructural undecanuclear 3d–4f coordination clusters of formula [Fe III 7Ln III 4O 4(OH) 3(tea) 2(Htea) 3(Piv) 7(H 2O) 2(NO 3) 3], where Ln = Y (1), Gd (2), Tb (3), Dy (4); PivH ≡ pivalic acid and H 3tea ≡ triethanolamine, was synthesised in this paper. The central Fe7 core of the coordination cluster can be described in terms of two {Fe 4O 2} butterfly motifs sharing a common body Fe atom. The two Fe 4 mean-planes subtend a dihedral angle of ca. 72°. The Tb (3) and Dy (4) compounds show Single Molecule Magnet (SMM) behaviourmore » as confirmed by ac-susceptibility and μ-SQUID measurements. Furthermore, 57Fe Mössbauer spectra of 1–4 confirm the presence of high-spin Fe III sites. The spectra of all complexes in the high temperature range (30–300 K) show broad overlapping doublets which were assigned to the body and wing-tip pairs of metal ions within the Fe 7 core. The low temperature Mössbauer spectra show dependence on the nature of the rare-earth metal as a result of its interaction with the iron sites. Finally, we observed a transition from fast (2), to intermediate (1) and very slow (frozen) (3, 4) spin fluctuation phenomena in these compounds.« less
  3. Topological quantum states require stringent combination of crystal symmetry and spin–orbit coupling (SOC) strength. Here in this paper, we report that the ternary Zintl compound series BaCaX (X = Si, Ge, Sn and Pb, Group IV) in the same crystal structure having eight valence electrons per formula unit can host two different topological quantum phases, controlled by atomic size and SOC strength. BaCaSi is a nodal-line semimetal (NLSM) with band inversion protected by mirror symmetry and hosts a strong topological insulator (TI) state when SOC is turned on, thus, a NLSM-TI phase. Moving to larger atomic sizes and heavier atoms,more » BaCaGe and BaCaSn are normal insulators (NIs); then, with the strongest SOC in BaCaPb, a different band inversion is induced, giving a strong TI phase without the need of NLSM. Thus, we also predict two types of topological transitions in a phase diagram for BaCaX: (1) NLSM-TI to NI, then to TI by tuning atomic size and SOC strength via alloying, and (2) NI or TI to NLSM-TI via pressure.« less
  4. The high-throughput search paradigm adopted by the newly established caloric materials consortium—CaloriCool ®—with the goal to substantially accelerate discovery and design of novel caloric materials is briefly discussed. Here, we begin with describing material selection criteria based on known properties, which are then followed by heuristic fast estimates, ab initio calculations, all of which has been implemented in a set of automated computational tools and measurements. We also demonstrate how theoretical and computational methods serve as a guide for experimental efforts by considering a representative example from the field of magnetocaloric materials.
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  5. The efficacy of dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) surface-enhanced NMR spectroscopy (SENS) is reviewed for alumina, silica, and ordered mesoporous carbon (OMC) materials, with vastly different surface areas, as a function of the biradical concentration. Importantly, our studies show that the use of a “one-size-fits-all” biradical concentration should be avoided when performing DNP SENS experiments and instead an optimal concentration should be selected as appropriate for the type of material studied as well as its surface area. In general, materials with greater surface areas require higher radical concentrations for best possible DNP performance. This result is explained with the use ofmore » a thermodynamic model wherein radical-surface interactions are expected to lead to an increase in the local concentration of the polarizing agent at the surface. We also show, using plane-wave density functional theory calculations, that weak radical-surface interactions are the cause of the poor performance of DNP SENS for carbonaceous materials.« less
  6. Micromagnetic simulations of alnico show substantial deviations from Stoner-Wohlfarth behavior due to the unique size and spatial distribution of the rod-like Fe-Co phase formed during spinodal decomposition in an external magnetic field. Furthemore, the maximum coercivity is limited by single-rod effects, especially deviations from ellipsoidal shape, and by interactions between the rods. In both the exchange interaction between connected rods and magnetostatic we consider the interaction between rods, and the results of our calculations show good agreement with recent experiments. Unlike systems dominated by magnetocrystalline anisotropy, coercivity in alnico is highly dependent on size, shape, and geometric distribution of themore » Fe-Co phase, all factors that can be tuned with appropriate chemistry and thermal-magnetic annealing.« less
  7. Here, alane (AlH 3) is a unique energetic material that has not found a broad practical use for over 70 years because it is difficult to synthesize directly from its elements. Using density functional theory, we examine the defect-mediated formation of alane monomers on Al(111) in a two-step process: (1) dissociative adsorption of H 2 and (2) alane formation, which are both endothermic on a clean surface. Only with Ti dopant to facilitate H 2 dissociation and vacancies to provide Al adatoms, both processes become exothermic. In agreement, in situ scanning tunneling microscopy showed that during H 2 exposure, alanemore » monomers and clusters form primarily in the vicinity of Al vacancies and Ti atoms. Moreover, ball milling of the Al samples with Ti (providing necessary defects) showed a 10 % conversion of Al into AlH 3 or closely related species at 344 bar H 2, indicating that the predicted pathway may lead to the direct synthesis of alane from elements at pressures much lower than the 104 bar expected from bulk thermodynamics.« less
  8. In topological quantum materials 1,2,3 the conduction and valence bands are connected at points or along lines in the momentum space. A number of studies have demonstrated that several materials are indeed Dirac/Weyl semimetals 4,5,6,7,8. However, there is still no experimental confirmation of materials with line nodes, in which the Dirac nodes form closed loops in the momentum space 2,3. Here we report the discovery of a novel topological structure—Dirac node arcs—in the ultrahigh magnetoresistive material PtSn 4 using laser-based angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy data and density functional theory calculations. Unlike the closed loops of line nodes, the Dirac node arcmore » structure arises owing to the surface states and resembles the Dirac dispersion in graphene that is extended along a short line in the momentum space. Here, we propose that this reported Dirac node arc structure is a novel topological state that provides an exciting platform for studying the exotic properties of Dirac fermions.« less
  9. We extend the solid-state nudged elastic band method to handle a non-conserved order parameter, in particular, magnetization, that couples to volume and leads to many observed effects in magnetic systems. We apply this formalism to the well-studied magneto-volume collapse during the pressure-induced transformation in iron—from ferromagnetic body-centered cubic (bcc) austenite to hexagonal close-packed (hcp) martensite. We also find a bcc-hcp equilibrium coexistence pressure of 8.4 GPa, with the transition-state enthalpy of 156 meV/Fe at this pressure. A discontinuity in magnetization and coherent stress occurs at the transition state, which has a form of a cusp on the potential-energy surface (yetmore » all the atomic and cell degrees of freedom are continuous); the calculated pressure jump of 25 GPa is related to the observed 25 GPa spread in measured coexistence pressures arising from martensitic and coherency stresses in samples. Furthermore, our results agree with experiments, but necessarily differ from those arising from drag and restricted parametrization methods having improperly constrained or uncontrolled degrees of freedom.« less
  10. The nudged-elastic band (NEB) method is modified with concomitant two climbing images (C2-NEB) to find a transition state (TS) in complex energy landscapes, such as those with a serpentine minimal energy path (MEP). If a single climbing image (C1-NEB) successfully finds the TS, then C2-NEB finds it too. Improved stability of C2-NEB makes it suitable for more complex cases, where C1-NEB misses the TS because the MEP and NEB directions near the saddle point are different. Generally, C2-NEB not only finds the TS, but guarantees, by construction, that the climbing images approach it from the opposite sides along the MEP.more » In addition, C2-NEB provides an accuracy estimate from the three images: the highest-energy one and its climbing neighbors. C2-NEB is suitable for fixed-cell NEB and the generalized solid-state NEB.« less

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