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|soft corrals for electrons and atoms|
In recent years the Condensed Matter Physics Gordon conference has served as meeting ground for hard and soft condensed matter science. This year's conference continues this aim with a focus on soft corrals for electrons and atoms. By "soft corrals" we mean deformable materials such as flexible, organic molecules or deformable surface structures that shape electronic states and electron transport at the mesoscopic scale of tens of nanometers or less. A classic form of corral is the surfactant corona that shapes colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals, yielding intense, controllable fluorescence. Arrays of colloidal metal particles on a surface lead to anomalous electronic transport and guided plasmon propagation. Amphiphilic polymers spontaneously form controllable periodic patterns on a surface at the ten-nanometer scale. These patterns can shape deposited metal into arrays of dots or wires via differential wetting. Deforming these soft corrals offers a means of controlling electrons and vice versa.
New forms of mesoscopic confinement and new resulting electronic behavior are rapidly emerging. Electrons confined in molecules or carbon nanotubes form a subtle corral that alters the spin distribution in adjacent metals via the Kondo effect. The conference will explore new ways in which deformation or modification of carbon nanotubes and conjugated polymers result in new electronic states. We will survey new forms of excited-electron interaction in semiconductor nanocrystals. We will also look at emerging forms of surface structure resulting from ionic interaction of micelles and molecules.
One aspect of these corrals is their effect on the spin states of electrons. This includes both static magnetic states and dynamic spin-wave states. Soft materials such as diblock copolymers or colloidal crystals can structure and position magnetic nanocrystals to store information at high density. Spin density waves also propagate in new ways within and between nanocrystals on a surface. The time evolution of these excitations can lead to entangled states and thus to new ways to manipulate information.
Manipulation of atoms with scanning tips is enabling a new form of soft corral. The conference will present new forms of collective motion guided by individually placed molecules on a surface and via the surface topography.
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