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Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah

MRSEC Paper Published in Nature Communications

Prof. Christoph Boehme, along with Prof. John Lupton, students Will Baker, Kapildeb Ambal, David Waters, Rachel Baarda, Hiroki Morishita, Kipp van Schooten, and former alumnus Dane McCamey, have recently published a paper in Nature Communications, "Robust Absolute Magnetometry with Organic Thin-Film Devices" (doi:10.1038/ncomms1895) regarding a low cost high sensitivity organic spintronic magnetic sensor. This is one of the first `high-visibility' products of the new NSF funded Materials Research Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC).


Magnetic field sensors based on organic thin-film materials have attracted considerable interest in recent years as they can be manufactured at very low cost and on flexible substrates. However, the technological relevance of such magnetoresistive sensors is limited owing to their narrow magnetic field ranges (~30 mT) and the continuous calibration required to compensate temperature fluctuations and material degradation. Conversely, magnetic resonance (MR)-based sensors, which utilize fundamental physical relationships for extremely precise measurements of fields, are usually large and expensive. Here we demonstrate an organic magnetic resonance-based magnetometer, employing spin-dependent electronic transitions in an organic diode, which combines the low-cost thin-film fabrication and integration properties of organic electronics with the precision of a MR-based sensor. We show that the device never requires calibration, operates over large temperature and magnetic field ranges, is robust against materials degradation and allows for absolute sensitivities of <50 nT Hz−1/2.

Full paper available here.


Astronomy Lab Getting a Whole New Look

The Department of Physics & Astronomy has received $103,000 in campus Capital Facilities & Remodeling funds to renovate the 4th floor astronomy lab in the South Physics building. The new facility will house education and public outreach activities for the South Physics Observatory, handle analysis of the data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III, and serve as the control room for the Willard. L. Eccles Observatory at Frisco Peak, Utah.


Shanti Deemyad & Students Awarded NASA EPSCoR Travel Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Shanti Deemyad, whose proposal, "Establishing Collaboration with NASA AMES Labs via EPSCoR Science Program", was recently selected for a travel grant from NASA EPSCoR RID program.

Together with her students, Anne Marie Schaeffer and William Talmadge (pictured at left) will be visiting the NASA Ames laboratory to establish collaborations this coming October.


Dr. John Belz Kicks Off Clark Planetarium's Night School Lecture Series

From the Clark Planetarium's website.

Dr. John Belz
June 21, 2012
Clark Planetarium

Beginning in June, join the Clark Planetarium for their new open format lecture series, Night School. Topics range across a wide spectrum of scientific disciplines and the open format encourages group discussion and exploration.

Dr. John Belz, will launch the Night School series on Thursday, June 21st from 7pm – 8pm, with his talk, “Two Through Your Head Every Second – Cosmic Rays”. High energy cosmic rays are important to our understanding of the universe, and John Belz uncovers what cosmic rays are, their origin, and how they are detected.

Night School sessions are hosted in the Hansen Dome Theater, and are followed by light refreshments in the Third Floor Exhibits area. Admission is $2. Members are free.

More information available here.


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