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A collaboration of Japanese and Czech researchers has realized a molecular circuit involving an antiaromatic molecule for the first time. Antiaromatic molecules have 4n electrons in the π system. They had been predicted decades ago to have remarkable electron transport properties but their instability and difficult synthesis had prevented their study until now. In their paper published in Nature Communications, the authors explain the origin of this high conductance compared to the aromatic counterpart.

European research project coordinated by the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences was selected in a fierce competition within the Future and Emerging Technologies program that is part of the Excellence pillar of the Framework Programme Horizon 2020. The project ASPIN is based on a work published last year in Science which opened a new research and development direction towards ultrafast and energy efficient memories based on so called antiferromagnets.

Intergranular embrittlement is one of the most dangerous effects responsible for catastrophic failure of construction metallic materials. The reason is that it proceeds very quickly and its occurrence is hardly predictable. However, it is known that this problem is closely connected to chemical composition of intergranular regions – grain boundaries. Solutes and impurities tend to accumulate – segregate – at grain boundaries at enhanced temperatures in such an extent that they can occupy all available atomic positions there.

A new insight into the characterization of chemical properties of the elements has been contributed by a method of Czech and Japanese researchers, published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications. State-of-the-art scanning-probe microscopes already enable scientists to resolve individual atoms on surfaces, but thanks to the new method, they can also measure the ability of these atoms to attract electrons, i.e. their electronegativity.

The High-Repetition-Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System (HAPLS), being developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), recently completed a significant milestone: demonstration of continuous operation of an all diode-pumped, high-energy femtosecond petawatt laser system.

With completion of this milestone, the system is ready for delivery and integration at the European Extreme Light Infrastructure Beamlines facility project (ELI Beamlines) in the Czech Republic.

Scientists from the Institute of Physics of the CAS lead an international team, which developed a new method to analyze the scattering of electrons in nanocrystals. The method is so accurate that it can be used to detect the positions of even the lightest of all atoms – the hydrogens. The accuracy and reliability of the method was demonstrated in a publication, where hydrogen positions were determined in two different materials. The work was published in the journal Science in its January 13th, 2017 issue.