April 28, 2014

A Glassy Look for Manganites: Berkeley Lab Researchers at the ALS Observe Glass-like Behavior in the Electron-Spins of PCMO Crystals

Manganites – compounds of manganese oxides – show great promise as “go-to” materials for future electronic devices because of their ability to instantly switch from an electrical insulator to a conductor under a wide variety of external stimuli, including magnetic fields, photo-excitations and vibrational excitations. This ultrafast switching arises from the many different ways in which the electrons and electron-spins in a manganite may organize or re-organize in response to such external stimuli. Understanding the physics behind these responses is crucial for the future development of manganites.