Laboratoire Léon Brillouin

UMR12 CEA-CNRS, Bât. 563 CEA Saclay

91191 Gif sur Yvette Cedex, France


BD diffusons les neutrons

Faits marquants scientifiques 2022

21 avril 2022

Sumit Mehan, Laure Herrmann, Jean-Paul Chapel, Jacques Jestin, Jean-Francois Berret and Fabrice Cousin

We investigate the formation/re-dissociation mechanisms of hybrid complexes made from negatively charged PAA2k coated g-Fe2O3 nanoparticles (NP) and positively charged polycations (PDADMAC) in aqueous solution in the regime of very high ionic strength (I). When the building blocks are mixed at large ionic strength (1 M NH4Cl), the electrostatic interaction is screened and complexation does not occur. If the ionic strength is then lowered down to a targeted ionic strength Itarget, there is a critical threshold Ic = 0.62 M at which complexation occurs, that is independent of the charge ratio Z and the pathway used to reduce salinity (drop-by-drop mixing or fast mixing). If salt is added back up to 1 M, the transition is not reversible and persistent out-of-equilibrium aggregates are formed. The lifetimes of such aggregates depends on Itarget: the closer Itarget to Ic is, the more difficult it is to dissolve the aggregates. Such peculiar behavior is driven by the inner structure of the complexes that are formed after desalting. When Itarget is far below Ic, strong electrostatic interactions induce the formation of dense, compact and frozen aggregates. Such aggregates can only poorly reorganize further on with time, which makes their dissolution upon resalting almost reversible. Conversely, when Itarget is close to Ic more open aggregates are formed due to weaker electrostatic interactions upon desalting. The system can thus rearrange with time to lower its free energy and reach more stable out-of-equilibrium states which are very difficult to dissociate back upon resalting, even at very high ionic strength.

23 mars 2022

Christiane Alba-Simionesco , Patrick Judeinstein , Stéphane Longeville, Oriana Osta , Florence Porcher , Frédéric Caupin , and Gilles Tarjus

The proneness of water to crystallize is a major obstacle to understanding its putative exotic behavior in the supercooled state. It also represents a strong practical limitation to cryopreservation of biological systems. Adding some concentration of glycerol, which has a cryoprotective effect preventing, to some degree, water crystallization, has been proposed as a possible way out, provided the concentration is small enough for water to retain some of its bulk character and/or for limiting the damage caused by glycerol on living organisms. Contrary to previous expectations, we show that, in the “marginal” glycerol molar concentration ≈ 18%, at which vitrification is possible with no crystallization on rapid cooling, water crystallizes upon isothermal annealing even below the calorimetric glass transition of the solution. Through a time-resolved polarized neutron scattering investigation, we extract key parameters, size and shape of the ice crystallites, fraction of water that crystallizes, and crystallization time, which are important for cryoprotection, as a function of the annealing temperature. We also characterize the nature of the out-of-equilibrium liquid phases that are present at low temperature, providing more arguments against the presence of an isocompositional liquid–liquid transition. Finally, we propose a rule of thumb to estimate the lower temperature limit belowwhich water crystallization does not occur in aqueous solutions.

22 février 2022

J.C.Riedl, M.Sarkar, T.Fiuza, F.Cousin, J.Depeyrot, E.Dubois,G.Mériguet,R.Perzynski and V.Peyre

Some of the most promising fields of application of ionic liquid-based colloids imply elevated temperatures. Their careful design and analysis is therefore essential. We assume that tuning the structure of the nanoparticle-ionic liquid interface through its composition can ensure colloidal stability for a wide temperature range, from room temperature up to 200 °C.


08 février 2022

Les aimants mono-moléculaires suscitent une attention scientifique croissante et ceci depuis trois décennies. Ils diffèrent des aimants métalliques conventionnels par le fait que l'ordre magnétique ne résulte pas d'un ordre à longue distance, mais de la capacité d'alignement de chaque molécule individuelle. L'un des principaux défis dans ce domaine réside dans le contrôle structurel de l'anisotropie magnétique moléculaire qui doit être uni-axiale. Dans cette optique, la technique de diffraction de neutrons polarisés (DNP) développée au laboratoire Léon Brillouin (LLB) offre la possibilité unique de mesurer l’amplitude du moment magnétique et la direction des principaux axes d'anisotropie magnétique d’un ion magnétique par rapport à l'orientation des molécules.

Dans le but d’améliorer les caractéristiques des aimants mono-moléculaires, deux nouveaux complexes iso-structuraux à base de Dy3+ et Ho3+ ont été synthétisés. Ils présentent une forte anisotropie magnétique, avec des barrières de relaxation magnétique respective de 600 K et 270 K. Les mesures réalisées au LLB fournissent la première preuve expérimentale que le composé Dy a une anisotropie magnétique quasi-uniaxiale avec une contribution transverse nulle, alors qu'elle est significative pour le composé Ho, ce qui peut être attribué à l'interaction moins favorable du champ cristallin avec la distribution de charge de l’ion Ho.


01 février 2022

Emil A. Klahn, Andreas M. Thiel, Rasmus B. Degn, Iurii Kibalin, Arsen Gukassov, Claire Wilson, Angelos B. Canaj, Mark Murrie and Jacob Overgaard

We present the magnetic anisotropy of two isostructural pentagonal-bipyramidal complexes, [Ln(H2O)5(HMPA)2]I3·2HMPA (HMPA = hexamethylphosphoramide, Ln = Dy, Ho). Using ac magnetic susceptibility measurements, we find magnetic relaxation barriers of 600 K and 270 K for the Dy- and Ho-compounds, respectively. This difference is supported by polarized neutron diffraction (PND) measured at 5 K and 1 T which provides the first experimental evidence that the transverse elements in the magnetic anisotropy of the Ho-analogue are significant, whereas the Dy-analogue has a near-axial magnetic anisotropy with vanishing transverse contributions. The coordination geometries of the two complexes are highly similar, and we attribute the loss of strong magnetic axiality as expressed in the atomic susceptibility tensors from PND, as well as the smaller relaxation barrier in the Ho-complex compared to the Dy-complex, to the less favorable interaction of the pentagonal bipyramidal crystal field with the characteristics of the Ho(III) 4f-charge distribution.

11 janvier 2022

Philipp Kurzhals, Geoffroy Kremer, Thomas Jaouen, Christopher W. Nicholson, Rolf Heid, Peter Nagel, John-Paul Castellan, Alexandre Ivanov, Matthias Muntwiler, Maxime Rumo, Bjoern Salzmann, Vladimir N. Strocov, Dmitry Reznik, Claude Monney & Frank Weber

Electron-phonon coupling, i.e., the scattering of lattice vibrations by electrons and vice versa, is ubiquitous in solids and can lead to emergent ground states such as superconductivity and charge-density wave order. A broad spectral phonon line shape is often interpreted as a marker of strong electron-phonon coupling associated with Fermi surface nesting, i.e., parallel sections of the Fermi surface connected by the phonon momentum. Alternatively broad phonons are known to arise from strong atomic lattice anharmonicity. Here, we show that strong phonon broadening can occur in the absence of both Fermi surface nesting and lattice anharmonicity, if electron-phonon coupling is strongly enhanced for specific values of electron-momentum, k. We use inelastic neutron scattering, soft x-ray angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy measurements and ab-initio lattice dynamical and electronic band structure calculations to demonstrate this scenario in the highly anisotropic tetragonal electron-phonon superconductor YNi2B2C. This new scenario likely applies to a wide range of compounds.


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