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On the 70th Anniversary of the Institute, March 23-29, 2019 - Programme

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Matjaž Gomilšek, Martin Klanjšek, Matej Pregelj and Andrej Zorko from the Solid State Physics Department and Rok Žitko from the Department of Theoretical Physics at the “Jožef Stefan” Institute, in collaboration with researchers from Switzerland and China, have published the paper Kondo screening in a charge-insulating spinon metal in Nature Physics. The Kondo effect where conduction electrons screen the local moments of magnetic impurities is well known to occur in ordinary metals. Here, the researchers have shown that an analogous phenomenon is possible also in electric insulators, in particular, in a quantum spin liquid with magnetic spinon excitations forming a Fermi surface. This discovery could be important for manipulating topologically protected spin-liquid states in quantum computing.

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Researchers from the Condensed Matter Physics Department (F5), Matej Pregelj, Andrej Zorko, Matjaž Gomilšek, Martin Klanjšek and Denis Arčon, in collaboration with colleagues from Switzerland, UK and Croatia, published an article in npj Quantum materials entitled Elementary excitation in the spin-stripe phase in quantum chains. To describe the dynamics of a large number of interacting particles, we often use a decomposition into elementary excitation modes, such as phonons in case of lattice vibrations. In the published article, the researchers discovered a new excitation mode in the spin chains, a collective wiggling of spins occurring in a spin-stripe state. The work provides a new insight into the physics of stripe states, which are also found in high-temperature superconductors.

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Researchers from Jožef Stefan Institute (IJS) I.Urbančič, M.Garvas, H.Majaron, B.Kokot, P.Umek, Z.Arsov, T.Koklič, M.Škarabot, I.Muševič in J.Štrancar (F5) and M.Čeh (CEMM in K7) as well as from University of Oxford (UO) F.Schneider, S.Galiani in C.Eggeling and from from University College Dublin (UCD) have identified the causal connection between inhalation of nanoparticles, lipid wrapping and triggerring of the coagulation signal cascade in lung epithelium. Recently installed super-resolution STED microscope significantly contributed to this findings together with expertise transfer from UO and new proteomics techniques at UCD. The work entitled Nanoparticles Can Wrap Epithelial Cell Membranes and Relocate Them Across the Epithelial Cell Layer was published in Nano Letters.

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Nature Physics published an article entitled Observation of two types of fractional excitation in the Kitaev honeycomb magnet by members of the Condensed Matter Physics Department at Jožef Stefan Institute, Nejc Janša, Andrej Zorko, Matjaž Gomilšek, Matej Pregelj and Martin Klanjšek, and colleagues from Switzerland. The article describes the first clear confirmation of the existence of two types of anyonic quasiparticle in a layered crystal α-RuCl3, which is known as the best realization of the Kitaev honeycomb lattice. A decade old famous Kitaev prediction spurred numerous experimental efforts to confirm the existence of anyons. The discovery is important also as the braiding operations with anyons offer one of the most promising platforms for topological quantum computing.

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