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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 8, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  3. Well-preserved coprolites (fossil faecal pellets) were found from lignite seams of the Lower Cretaceous Huolinhe Formation at the Huolinhe Basin in eastern Inner Mongolia, Northeast China. These coprolites provide a combination of following features: oval to cylindrical shaped with six longitudinal ridges, hexagonal to elliptical cross-sections, and one blunt end and the other pointed end. According to these distinct features and their size range, the producers of these coprolites are attributed to termites. Termites were estimated to have originated in the earliest Cretaceous with an evolutionary radiation in the Early Cretaceous. The presence of wood debris in the coprolites indicate that the Early Cretaceous termites from the Huolinhe Basin had wood-feeding habits; and anatomical features displaying on the wood debris further suggest their feeding preference was coniferous wood. Besides, the results of a k-means clustering analysis performed for these coprolites indicate that three clusters with different proportion were present, suggesting the division of labor in termites’ sociality existed as early as the Early Cretaceous.
  4. Abstract

    A long‐standing pursuit in materials science is to identify suitable magnetic semiconductors for integrated information storage, processing, and transfer. Van der Waals magnets have brought forth new material candidates for this purpose. Recently, sharp exciton resonances in antiferromagnet NiPS3have been reported to correlate with magnetic order, that is, the exciton photoluminescence intensity diminishes above the Néel temperature. Here, it is found that the polarization of maximal exciton emission rotates locally, revealing three possible spin chain directions. This discovery establishes a new understanding of the antiferromagnet order hidden in previous neutron scattering and optical experiments. Furthermore, defect‐bound states are suggested as an alternative exciton formation mechanism that has yet to be explored in NiPS3. The supporting evidence includes chemical analysis, excitation power, and thickness dependent photoluminescence and first‐principles calculations. This mechanism for exciton formation is also consistent with the presence of strong phonon side bands. This study shows that anisotropic exciton photoluminescence can be used to read out local spin chain directions in antiferromagnets and realize multi‐functional devices via spin‐photon transduction.

    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 27, 2024