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The National Science Foundation periodically solicits science highlights from the Magnet Lab. These monthly highlights, selected by MagLab Director Greg Boebinger, represent the most promising and cutting-edge research underway in the lab’s seven user programs. Below are our monthly highlights for 2014.

NSF Annual Highlights

In addition to these monthly highlights, the MagLab also compiles lists of NSF Annual Highlights.

Also visit our NSF Annual Highlights page for a compilation of end-of-year annual highlights. Or, for a list of select MagLab-enabled research recently published in prominent journals, please consult our Research Summaries Archive page.

NSF Monthly Highlights Archives

Select a Year

Click on a highlight’s title to view a PDF with more details.

2014 Monthly Highlights

Neutron Scattering at 25 Teslas: MagLab Completes Conical Bore Resistive Insert Coil for Series-Connected Hybrid Magnet
The MagLab has delivered the resistive insert coils for the 25-Tesla Series Connected Hybrid Magnet for the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. This magnet system includes a unique conical warm bore with 30 degree opening angle and will be used for neutron-scattering experiments and an unprecedented 25T central field. This constitutes a 47% increase in magnetic field available for these experiments while also providing an increase in solid-angle.

April NSF Highlight - Magnet Technology
Date: April 8, 2014
Research Area: Magnet Technology
Site / Program: Resistive Magnet Shop & DC Field Facility
Instrument: 20T Large Bore Magnet
Contact: Jack Toth
Grants: M.D. Bird (German Government, NSF DMR-0603042); G.S.Boebinger (NSF DMR-1157490)

High-Field EPR Studies of the Fine Structure Parameters of the Mn(II) Centers in Bacillus subtilis Oxalate Decarboxylase
Oxalate Decarboxylase (OxDC) is an enzyme that catalyzes the manganese-dependent breakdown of the oxalate monoanion into carbon dioxide and formate. EPR measurements performed at very high magnetic fields greatly simplify the task of assigning fine structure parameters to each of the Mn(II) centers in wild-type OxDC. The results provide new insights into the strengths and limitations of theoretical methods for understanding protein-bound Mn(II), setting the stage for future EPR studies of Mn(II) centers in OxDC.

April NSF Highlight - EMR
Date: April 8, 2014
Research Area: Chemistry
Site / Program: EMR Facility
Instrument: 17.5 Tesla Magnet
Contact: Andrew Ozarowski
Grants: G. S. Boebinger (NSF DMR-1157490); A.A. (NSF CHE-1213440); U.R. (Swiss National Science Foundation); N.G.J.R. (NIH DK061666)

Giant Plasticity in the Quantum Solid, HCP4He
High precision NMR studies of dilute impurities in sold 4He have demonstrated the existence of an unexpected lattice relaxation at low temperatures (T<0.2K). This new effect is attributed to the quantum plasticity reported in studies of the elastic constants in the same temperature regime.

March NSF Highlight - HBT
Date: March 14, 2014
Research Area: Quantum Fluids and Solids
Site / Program: HBT Facility
Instrument: Bay 3, MicroKelvin Laboratory
Contact: Neil Sullivan
Grants: G.S. Boebinger (NSF DMR-1157490); N. Sullivan (NSF-DMR-1303599 )

First High-Resolution Structures of Antimicrobial Peptides Piscidin 1 and Piscidin 3 in Fluid Bilayers Reveal Structural Features Important for Function
Structures of antimicrobial peptides piscidins 1 and 3 were solved in two bacterial cell mimics by oriented sample solid-state NMR. A significant finding of this work is that in contrast to the ideal structures shown in mechanistic studies of AMPs, the structures of both peptides are disrupted and kinked at a conserved central glycine, which results in stronger interactions with the lipid bilayers. The more pronounced imperfect amphipathicity of piscidin 1 over piscidin 3 that is revealed helps better understand why the former more effectively mixes the lipids as needed to induce the greatest damage to bacterial cells.

March NSF Highlight - NMR
Date: March 14, 2014
Research Area: Biochemistry
Site / Program: NMR Facility
Instrument: 600 and 900 MHz superconducting magnets
Contact: Tim Cross, Myriam Cotten
Grants: G.S. Boebinger (NSF DMR-1157490); M.L. Cotten (NSF CHE-0832571)

Nucleotide-Induced Conformational Changes in Tetrameric GroEL Mapped by Hydrogen/Deuterium Exchange Monitored by Ultrahigh Resolution 14.5 T FT-ICR Mass Spectrometry
GroEL is a large (molecular weight ≈ 800,000) protein complex composed of two heptamers arranged like stacked doughnuts. By “spray-painting” the complex with heavy water, and then cutting into pieces with an enzyme and weighing the pieces, we are able to map the solvent accessibility throughout the complex, and observe conformational changes induced by binding of an analog of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), thereby illuminating the mechanism by which ATP activates the complex for its biological function.

February NSF Highlight - AMRIS
Date: February 10, 2014
Research Area: Biochemistry
Site / Program: FSU / ICR Facility
Instrument: 14.5 Tesla Magnet
Contact: Alan Marshall
Grants: G.S. Boebinger (NSF DMR-1157490); Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan

Interplay between Frustration and Spin-Orbit Coupling in Vanadates
The high-magnetic field phase diagram to 65 Tesla of the MV2O4 family (M = Cd, Mg) reveals new multiferroic phase transitions that point to an unusual interplay between spin-orbit interactions and frustrated magnetism.

February NSF Highlight - Pulsed Field Facility
Date: February 10, 2014
Research Area: Magnetism and Magnetic Materials
Site / Program: LANL / Pulsed Field Facility
Instrument: 65 T Magnets
Contact: Vivien Zapf
Grants: G.S. Boebinger (NSF DMR-1157490); LANL LDRD program

Dissolution DNP Polarizer for In Vivo 13C MRI.
The MagLab’s AMRIS facility has recently implemented dissolution DNP technology. The system utilizes a 5 T magnet in which samples are cooled to <1.1 K. With microwave irradiation, we achieve 70% polarization of 13C nuclei in the polarizer; this translates to a >14,000 gain in SNR on dissolution and injection into our 4.7T MRI/S scanner.

January NSF Highlight - AMRIS
Date: January 15, 2014
Research Area: Biochemistry
Site / Program: UF / AMRIS
Instrument: 4.7T and 11.1 T MRI/S systems
Contact: Joanna Long
Grants: G.S. Boebinger (NSF DMR-1157490)

High Field Quantum Spin Hall State in Graphene
Using the high magnetic fields available at the NHMFL, users from MIT were able to observe a quantum spin hall (QSH) state in graphene. The QSH state results in two oppositely oriented spin currents flowing clockwise and counter clockwise around the edge of the graphene flake without dissipation effects. This discovery further advances the exciting work being done to bring about spin based electronics.

January NSF Highlight - DC Field
Date: January 15, 2014
Research Area: Graphene
Site / Program: FSU / DC Field Facility
Instrument: 45T Hybrid
Contact: Tim Murphy
Grants: RCA (US DOE, #FG02-08ER46514); PJH (US DOE #DE-SC0001819); AFY (Pappalardo Fellowship); G.S. Boebinger (NSF DMR-1157490)


More Publications Links

  • NSF Annual Highlights
    And end-of-year list compiled for NSF.
  • Scientific Journals
    A database of research by users and affiliated faculty, including recent unpublished research.
  • Research Reports
    A database of research by MagLab users and affiliated faculty, including the most recent research.
  • MagLab Publications
    Includes Flux, MagLab Reports, the Annual Report and other staff-produced publications.
  • User Reporting
    Instructions for MagLab users on how to report research results to the lab.

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