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  • Mind the Interface Gap: Exposing Hidden Interface Defects at the Epitaxial Heterostructure between CuO and Cu2O

    Mind the Interface Gap: Exposing Hidden Interface Defects at the Epitaxial Heterostructure between CuO and Cu2O

    Capturing solar energy requires a joint between two electrical conductors. It is at the join that the magic happens and the high energy electrons are swept away to operate a device or charge a battery before their energy is lost. The molecular level details of the joint are critical. Get them wrong and we have a very low efficiency or short lived device. Get them right and we might be able to capture solar energy to make electricity, drive new chemical reactions, even make renewable liquid fuel from water and CO2. Measuring details of the join is very difficult, it…


  • Prethermal nematic order and staircase heating in a driven frustrated Ising magnet with dipolar interactions

    Prethermal nematic order and staircase heating in a driven frustrated Ising magnet with dipolar interactions

    A paper recently published in Physical Review B presents various emergent prethermal phases of matter in a periodically-driven frustrated system. Frustration arises in the presence of competing interactions leading to a (near) degeneracy of a vast number of states. The study of frustrated systems has been one of the central themes in condensed matter physics for decades. However, the effect of frustration on nonequilibrium systems is far from clear. In this recent paper, the authors focus on the paradigmatic two-dimensional Ising magnet with competing short-range ferromagnetic and long-range dipolar interactions and theoretically unveil a rich nonequilibrium phase diagram including novel…


  • Binding of Proteins to Copolymers of varying Charges and Hydrophobicity: A Molecular Mechanism and Computational Strategies

    Binding of Proteins to Copolymers of varying Charges and Hydrophobicity: A Molecular Mechanism and Computational Strategies

    Nanoparticles made of cross-linked copolymers can be tuned during their synthesis to display a variety of binding sites on their surface. If carefully engineered, a binding sites can selectively adsorb one type of protein only. When this is the case, the nanoparticles behave as the analogue of an antibody and can be used for diagnostic in case the bound proteins is a known biomarker associated to a certain disease. In this paper, we use a combination of coarse-grained Molecular Dynamics, statistical mechanical theory and experiments to study how different properties of the co-polymer, for example, the length of the different…