Czech French collaboration on the cover of Physical Review Letters

Electron beam lithography can be used for fabrication of broad range of interesting structures starting from complex optical elements, functional interfaces up to micro and nanostructures, that can be tailored for wide application spectrum. An example are artificial spin systems, that consist of small magnetic elements. These lab-on-chip structures, fabricated on top of silicon substrate, enable studying and probing of models of statistical mechanics, which are often inspired by natural compounds.

The so-called artificial spin ice structures, inspired by studies of solid water, are example of such systems. Approaching of low-energy physics of these models (precisely the F model) in a 2D magnetic lattice is main aim of the study published in Physical Review Letters. Moreover, one of the figures from the paper was selected for the journal cover.

The ability to tune the properties of the studied system at will, is one of the main advantages of these experimental simulators of matter. In this work, varying a diameter of a hole placed within connected square lattice, enables probing of different regimes of studied model. By use of this strategy, first ever experimental system capturing an infinite order phase transition was realized and studied by imaging techniques enabling in-depth analysis.

Co-authors of the published study are researchers from the Electron Beam Lithography group of the Institute of Scientific Instruments of the CAS. Other authors are from French Institut Néel – CNRS. The bond of the cooperation are the PhD students (first and second author), who are Cotutelle scholarship holders (double guided PhD studies between CZ and FR).

Link to the article here




Photo: Front page of Physical Review Letters