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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 10, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  3. Distributed programmable thermal actuation enables caterpillar-inspired bidirectional locomotion for soft crawling robots. 
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  4. An electrically conductive metal typically transmits or absorbs a spin current. Here, we report on evidence that interfacing two metal thin films can suppress spin transmission and absorption. We examine spin pumping in spin-source/spacer/spin-sink heterostructures, where the spacer consists of metallic Cu and Cr thin films. The Cu/Cr spacer largely suppresses spin pumping—i.e., neither transmitting nor absorbing a significant amount of spin current—even though Cu or Cr alone transmits a sizable spin current. The antiferromagnetism of Cr is not essential for the suppression of spin pumping, as we observe similar suppression with Cu/V spacers with V as a nonmagnetic analog of Cr. We speculate that diverse combinations of spin-transparent metals may form interfaces that suppress spin pumping, although the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Our work may stimulate a new perspective on spin transport in metallic multilayers.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  5. Abstract Transformation optics has formulated a versatile framework to mold the flow of light and tailor its spatial characteristics at will. Despite its huge success in bringing scientific fiction (such as invisibility cloaking) into reality, the coordinate transformation often yields extreme material parameters unfeasible even with metamaterials. Here, we demonstrate a new transformation paradigm based upon the invariance of the eigenspectra of the Hamiltonian of a physical system, enabled by supersymmetry. By creating a gradient-index metamaterial to control the local index variation in a family of isospectral optical potentials, we demonstrate broadband continuous supersymmetric transformation in optics, on a silicon chip, to simultaneously transform the transverse spatial characteristics of multiple optical states for arbitrary steering and switching of light flows. Through a novel synergy of symmetry physics and metamaterials, our work provides an adaptable strategy to conveniently tame the flow of light with full exploitation of its spatial degree of freedom. 
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  6. In ferromagnetic metals, transverse spin currents are thought to be absorbed via dephasing—i.e., destructive interference of spins precessing about the strong exchange field. Yet, due to the ultrashort coherence length of ≈1 nm in typical ferromagnetic thin films, it is difficult to distinguish dephasing in the bulk from spin-flip scattering at the interface. Here, to assess which mechanism dominates, we examine transverse spin-current absorption in ferromagnetic NiCu alloy films with reduced exchange fields. We observe that the coherence length increases with decreasing Curie temperature, as weaker dephasing in the film bulk slows down spin absorption. Moreover, nonmagnetic Cu impurities do not diminish the efficiency of spin-transfer torque from the absorbed spin current. Our findings affirm that the transverse spin current is predominantly absorbed by dephasing inside the nanometer-thick ferromagnetic metals, even with high impurity contents.

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