Research Highlights

Research Highlights

These are the latest research highlights about CSEC (prominent papers)

Oil and water don’t mix. This is why a bottle of French Dressing has to be shaken before use and why, when an oil tanker sinks, the oil that is spilled can be scooped off the surface of the sea.

CSEC scientists and collaborators have helped solve the mystery of what lies beneath the surface of Neptune – the most distant planet in our solar system. A new study sheds light on the chemical make-up of the planet, which lies around 4.5 billion kilometres from the sun.

Scientists have solved a decades-old puzzle about a widely used metal, thanks to extreme pressure experiments and powerful supercomputing.

The Earth’s magnetic field, which protects life on its surface from harmful radiation from space, might have existed since the planet’s formation, accommodating the early spread of life on the planet.

Almost 80 years ago it was predicted that, under sufficient compression, the H–H bond in molecular hydrogen (H2) would break, forming a new, atomic, metallic, solid state of hydrogen.

The weakness of electron-electron correlations in the itinerant antiferromagnet Cr doped with V has long been considered the reason that neither new collective electronic states nor even non-Fermi-liquid behavior are observed when antiferromagnetism in Cr1-xVx is suppressed

The mineral magnetite (Fe(3)O(4)) undergoes a complex structural distortion and becomes electrically insulating at temperatures less than 125 kelvin.

Elemental barium adopts a series of high-pressure phases with such complex crystal structures that some of them have eluded structure determination for many years.

High-resolution x-ray powder-diffraction experiments were performed on europium metal at high pressure up to 50GPa. At variance with previous reports, the hcp phase of Eu was observed to be stable not only to 18GPa, but to 31.5GPa.

Transition-metal oxynitrides with perovskite-type structures are an emerging class of materials with optical, photocatalytic, dielectric and magnetoresistive properties that may be sensitive to oxide-nitride order, but the anion-ordering principles were unclear.

Recent theoretical and experimental studies have produced several unusual and interesting results on dense lithium, the first metal in the periodic table. These include the deviation from simple metal behaviour, superconductivity at 17 K, and a metal to semiconductor transition.

By compressing elemental silicon and hydrogen in a diamond anvil cell, we have synthesized polymeric silicon tetrahydride (SiH(4)) at 124 GPa and 300 K.

Synchrotron x-ray diffraction experiments on compressed platinum-hydrogen mixtures reveal the formation of platinum hydride at a pressure of 27(1) GPa at room temperature.

The emergence of superconductivity at high magnetic fields in URhGe is regarded as a paradigm for new state formation approaching a quantum critical point.

Ab initio random structure searching and single-crystal x-ray diffraction have been used to determine the full structures of three phases of lithium, recently discovered at low temperature above 60 GPa.

Of the simple diatomic molecules, oxygen is the only one to carry a magnetic moment. This makes solid oxygen particularly interesting: it is considered a 'spin-controlled' crystal that displays unusual magnetic order.