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  • VIEW & PERSPECTIVE
    Qian Niu
    Frontiers of Physics, 2020, 15(4): 43601. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0979-z
  • TOPICAL REVIEW
    Si Li, Zhi-Ming Yu, Yugui Yao, Shengyuan A. Yang
    Frontiers of Physics, 2020, 15(4): 43201. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0963-7

    Topological metals (TMs) are a kind of special metallic materials, which feature nontrivial band crossings near the Fermi energy, giving rise to peculiar quasiparticle excitations. TMs can be classified based on the characteristics of these band crossings. For example, according to the dimensionality of the crossing, TMs can be classified into nodal-point, nodal-line, and nodal-surface metals. Another important property is the type of dispersion. According to degree of the tilt of the local dispersion around the crossing, we have type-I and type-II dispersions. This leads to significant distinctions in the physical properties of the materials, owing to their contrasting Fermi surface topologies. In this article, we briefly review the recent advances in this research direction, focusing on the concepts, the physical properties, and the material realizations of the type-II nodal-point and nodal-line TMs.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Li Zhao, Jianglai Liu
    Frontiers of Physics, 2020, 15(4): 44301. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0960-x

    The nature of dark matter is one of the greatest mysteries in modern physics and astronomy. A wide variety of experiments have been carried out worldwide to search for the evidence of particle dark matter. Chinese physicists started experimental search for dark matter about ten years ago, and have produced results with high scientific impact. In this paper, we present an overview of the dark matter program in China, and discuss recent results and future directions.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Pingyu Zhu, Qilin Zheng, Shichuan Xue, Chao Wu, Xinyao Yu, Yang Wang, Yingwen Liu, Xiaogang Qiang, Junjie Wu, Ping Xu
    Frontiers of Physics, 2020, 15(6): 61501. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-1010-4

    One of the most important multipartite entangled states, Greenberger–Horne–Zeilinger state (GHZ), serves as a fundamental resource for quantum foundation test, quantum communication and quantum computation. To increase the number of entangled particles, significant experimental efforts should been invested due to the complexity of optical setup and the difficulty in maintaining the coherence condition for high-fidelity GHZ state. Here, we propose an ultra-integrated scalable on-chip GHZ state generation scheme based on frequency combs. By designing several microrings pumped by different lasers, multiple partially overlapped quantum frequency combs are generated to supply as the basis for on-chip polarization-encoded GHZ state with each qubit occupying a certain spectral mode. Both even and odd numbers of GHZ states can be engineered with constant small number of integrated components and easily scaled up on the same chip by only adjusting one of the pump wavelengths. In addition, we give the on-chip design of projection measurement for characterizing GHZ states and show the reconfigurability of the state. Our proposal is rather simple and feasible within the existing fabrication technologies and we believe it will boost the development of multiphoton technologies.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Mike Guidry, Yang Sun, Lian-Ao Wu, Cheng-Li Wu
    Frontiers of Physics, 2020, 15(4): 43301. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0957-5

    We review application of the SU(4) model of strongly-correlated electrons to cuprate and iron-based superconductors. A minimal self-consistent generalization of BCS theory to incorporate antiferromagnetism on an equal footing with pairing and strong Coulomb repulsion is found to account systematically for the major features of high-temperature superconductivity, with microscopic details of the parent compounds entering only parametrically. This provides a systematic procedure to separate essential from peripheral, suggesting that many features exhibited by the high-Tc data set are of interest in their own right but are not central to the superconducting mechanism. More generally, we propose that the surprisingly broad range of conventional and unconventional superconducting and superfluid behavior observed across many fields of physics results from the systematic appearance of similar algebraic structures for the emergent effective Hamiltonians, even though the microscopic Hamiltonians of the corresponding parent states may differ radically from each other.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Ying-Xun Zhang, Ning Wang, Qing-Feng Li, Li Ou, Jun-Long Tian, Min Liu, Kai Zhao, Xi-Zhen Wu, Zhu-Xia Li
    Frontiers of Physics, 2020, 15(5): 54301. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0961-9

    In this review article, we first briefly introduce the transport theory and quantum molecular dynamics model applied in the study of the heavy ion collisions from low to intermediate energies. The developments of improved quantum molecular dynamics model (ImQMD) and ultra-relativistic quantum molecular dynamics model (UrQMD), are reviewed. The reaction mechanism and phenomena related to the fusion, multinucleon transfer, fragmentation, collective flow and particle production are reviewed and discussed within the framework of the two models. The constraints on the isospin asymmetric nuclear equation of state and in-medium nucleon–nucleon cross sections by comparing the heavy ion collision data with transport models calculations in last decades are also discussed, and the uncertainties of these constraints are analyzed as well. Finally, we discuss the future direction of the development of the transport models for improving the understanding of the reaction mechanism, the descriptions of various observables, the constraint on the nuclear equation of state, as well as for the constraint on in-medium nucleon–nucleon cross sections.

  • TOPICAL REVIEW
    Chen-Xiao Zhao (赵晨晓), Jin-Feng Jia (贾金锋)
    Frontiers of Physics, 2020, 15(5): 53201. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0965-5

    Two dimensional (2D) topological insulators (TIs) and topological superconductors (TSCs) have been intensively studied for recent years due to their great potential for dissipationless electron transportation and fault-tolerant quantum computing, respectively. Here we focus on stanene, the tin analogue of graphene, to give a brief review of their development as a candidate for both 2D TI and TSC. Stanene is proposed to be a TI with a large gap of 0.3 eV, and its topological properties are sensitive to various factors, e.g., the lattice constants, chemical functionalization and layer thickness, which offer various methods for phase tunning. Experimentally, the inverted gap and edge states are observed recently, which are strong evidences for TI. In addition, stanene is also predicted to be a time reversal invariant TSC by breaking inversion symmetry, supporting helical Majorana edge modes. The layer-dependent superconductivity of stanene is recently confirmed by both transport and scanning tunneling microscopy measurements. This review gives a detailed introduction to stanene and its topological properties and some prospects are also discussed.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Jing Xu, Sai Li, Tao Chen, Zheng-Yuan Xue
    Frontiers of Physics, 2020, 15(4): 41503. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0976-2

    Quantum gates, which are the essential building blocks of quantum computers, are very fragile. Thus, to realize robust quantum gates with high fidelity is the ultimate goal of quantum manipulation. Here, we propose a nonadiabatic geometric quantum computation scheme on superconducting circuits to engineer arbitrary quantum gates, which share both the robust merit of geometric phases and the capacity to combine with optimal control technique to further enhance the gate robustness. Specifically, in our proposal, arbitrary geometric single-qubit gates can be realized on a transmon qubit, by a resonant microwave field driving, with both the amplitude and phase of the driving being timedependent. Meanwhile, nontrivial two-qubit geometric gates can be implemented by two capacitively coupled transmon qubits, with one of the transmon qubits’ frequency being modulated to obtain effective resonant coupling between them. Therefore, our scheme provides a promising step towards fault-tolerant solid-state quantum computation.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Long Tian, Shao-Ping Shi, Yu-Hang Tian, Ya-Jun Wang, Yao-Hui Zheng, Kun-Chi Peng
    Frontiers of Physics, 2021, 16(2): 21502. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-1012-2

    We demonstrate experimentally the simultaneous generation and detection of two types of continuous variable nonclassical states from one type-0 phase-matching optical parametric amplification (OPA) and subsequent two ring filter cavities (RFCs). The output field of the OPA includes the baseband ω0 and sideband modes ω0±fsubjects to the cavity resonance condition, which are separated by two cascaded RFCs. The first RFC resonates with half the pump wavelength ω0 and the transmitted baseband component is a squeezed state. The reflected fields of the first RFC, including the sideband modes ω0±ωf, are separated by the second RFC, construct Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen entangled state. All freedoms, including the filter cavities for sideband separation and relative phases for the measurements of these sidebands, are actively stabilized. The noise variance of squeezed states is 10.2 dB below the shot noise limit (SNL), the correlation variances of both quadrature amplitude-sum and quadrature phase-difference for the entanglement state are 10.0 dB below the corresponding SNL.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Yang-Ting Fu, Wei-Lun Gu, Zong-Yu Hou, Sher Afgan Muhammed, Tian-Qi Li, Yun Wang, Zhe Wang
    Frontiers of Physics, 2021, 16(2): 22502. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-1006-0

    Relatively large measurement uncertainty severely hindered wide application for laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), therefore it is of great importance to understand the mechanism of signal uncertainty generation, including initiation and propagation. It has been found that the fluctuation of plasma morphology was the main reason for signal uncertainty. However, it still remains unclear what mechanism leads to laser-induced plasma morphology fluctuation. In the present work, we employed three fast-imaging cameras to capture three successive plasma images from a same laser-induced Titanium alloy plasma, which enables us to understand more clearly of the plasma evolution process especially for the early plasma evolution stage when plasma and surrounding gases interact drastically. Seen from the images, the plasma experienced an increasing morphological fluctuation as delay time increased, transforming from a “stable plasma” before the delay time of 100 ns to a “fluctuating plasma” after the delay time of 300 ns. Notably, the frontier part of plasma showed a significant downward motion from the delay time of 150 ns to 200 ns and crashed with the lower part of the plasma, making the plasma flatter and later even splitting the plasma into two parts, which was considered as a critical process for the transformation of “stable plasma” to “unstable plasma”. By calculating the correlation coefficient of plasma image pairs at successive delay times, it was found that the higher the similarity between two plasma at early stage, the more similar at later stage; this implied that the tiny plasma fluctuation earlier than the critical delay time (150–200 ns) was amplified, causing a large plasma fluctuation at the later stage as well as LIBS measurement uncertainty. The initiation of slight fluctuation was linked with Rayleigh–Taylor Instability (RTI) due to the drastic material interpenetration at the plasma-ambient gas interface at earlier stage (before 50 ns). That is, the uncertainty generation of LIBS was proposed as: plasma morphology fluctuation was inevitably trigged by RTI at the early stage and the tiny fluctuation was amplified by the back pressed downward process of plasma frontier material, leading to severe morphology fluctuation as well as LIBS signal uncertainty.

  • TOPICAL REVIEW
    Lin Ju, Mei Bie, Xiwei Zhang, Xiangming Chen, Liangzhi Kou
    Frontiers of Physics, 2021, 16(1): 13201. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-1002-4

    Two-dimensional Janus van der Waals (vdW) heterojunctions, referring to the junction containing at least one Janus material, are found to exhibit tuneable electronic structures, wide light adsorption spectra, controllable contact resistance, and sufficient redox potential due to the intrinsic polarization and unique interlayer coupling. These novel structures and properties are promising for the potential applications in electronics and energy conversion devices. To provide a comprehensive picture about the research progress and guide the following investigations, here we summarize their fundamental properties of different types of two-dimensional Janus vdW heterostructures including electronic structure, interface contact and optical properties, and discuss the potential applications in electronics and energy conversion devices. The further challenges and possible research directions of the novel heterojunctions are discussed at the end of this review.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Xiao-Jun Tan, You-Jin Deng, Jesper Lykke Jacobsen
    Frontiers of Physics, 2020, 15(4): 41501. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0972-6

    We study N-cluster correlation functions in four- and five-dimensional (4D and 5D) bond percolation by extensive Monte Carlo simulation. We reformulate the transfer Monte Carlo algorithm for percolation [Phys. Rev. E72, 016126 (2005)] using the disjoint-set data structure, and simulate a cylindrical geometry Ld−1 × ∞, with the linear size up to L = 512 for 4D and 128 for 5D. We determine with a high precision all possible N-cluster exponents, for N =2 and 3, and the universal amplitude for a logarithmic correlation function. From the symmetric correlator with N=2, we obtain the correlationlength critical exponent as 1/ν=1.4610(12) for 4D and 1/ν=1.737(2) for 5D, significantly improving over the existing results. Estimates for the other exponents and the universal logarithmic amplitude have not been reported before to our knowledge. Our work demonstrates the validity of logarithmic conformal field theory and adds to the growing knowledge for high-dimensional percolation.

  • TOPICAL REVIEW
    Yong-Jia Wang, Qing-Feng Li
    Frontiers of Physics, 2020, 15(4): 44302. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0964-6

    The equation of state (EOS) of nuclear matter, i.e., the thermodynamic relationship between the binding energy per nucleon, temperature, density, as well as the isospin asymmetry, has been a hot topic in nuclear physics and astrophysics for a long time. The knowledge of the nuclear EOS is essential for studying the properties of nuclei, the structure of neutron stars, the dynamics of heavy ion collision (HIC), as well as neutron star mergers. HIC offers a unique way to create nuclear matter with high density and isospin asymmetry in terrestrial laboratory, but the formed dense nuclear matter exists only for a very short period, one cannot measure the nuclear EOS directly in experiments. Practically, transport models which often incorporate phenomenological potentials as an input are utilized to deduce the EOS from the comparison with the observables measured in laboratory. The ultrarelativistic quantum molecular dynamics (UrQMD) model has been widely employed for investigating HIC from the Fermi energy (40 MeV per nucleon) up to the CERN Large Hadron Collider energies (TeV). With further improvement in the nuclear mean-field potential term, the collision term, and the cluster recognition term of the UrQMD model, the newly measured collective flow and nuclear stopping data of light charged particles by the FOPI Collaboration can be reproduced. In this article we highlight our recent results on the studies of the nuclear EOS and the nuclear symmetry energy with the UrQMD model. New opportunities and challenges in the extraction of the nuclear EOS from transport models and HIC experiments are discussed.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Shuang Zhou, Lu You, Hailin Zhou, Yong Pu, Zhigang Gui, Junling Wang
    Frontiers of Physics, 2021, 16(1): 13301. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0986-0

    Copper indium thiophosphate, CuInP2S6, has attracted much attention in recent years due to its van der Waals layered structure and robust ferroelectricity at room temperature. In this review, we aim to give an overview of the various properties of CuInP2S6, covering structural, ferroelectric, dielectric, piezoelectric and transport properties, as well as its potential applications. We also highlight the remaining questions and possible research directions related to this fascinating material and other compounds of the same family.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Fen Lyu, Ya-Ping Li, Shu-Jin Hou, Jun-Jie Wei, Jin-Jun Geng, Xue-Feng Wu
    Frontiers of Physics, 2021, 16(1): 14501. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0989-x

    The variability in multi-pulse gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) may help to reveal the mechanism of underlying processes from the central engine. To investigate whether the self-organized criticality (SOC) phenomena exist in the prompt phase of GRBs, we statistically study the properties of GRBs with more than 3 pulses in each burst by fitting the distributions of several observed physical variables with a Markov Chain Monte Carlo approach, including the isotropic energy Eiso, the duration time T, and the peak count rate P of each pulse. Our sample consists of 454 pulses in 93 GRBs observed by the CGRO/BATSE satellite. The best-fitting values and uncertainties for these power-law indices of the differential frequency distributions are: αE d=1.54 ±0.09, αT d= 1.820.15+0.14 and αPd=2.090.19+0.18, while the power-law indices in the cumulative frequency distributions are: αE c= 1.440.10+0.08, αTc=1.750.13+0.11 and αP c= 1.990.19+0.16. We find that these distributions are roughly consistent with the physical framework of a Fractal-Diffusive, Self-Organized Criticality (FD-SOC) system with the spatial dimension S = 3 and the classical diffusion β=1. Our results support that the jet responsible for the GRBs should be magnetically dominated and magnetic instabilities (e.g., kink model, or tearing-model instability) lead the GRB emission region into the SOC state.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Zhi-Huan Luo, Wei Pang, Bin Liu, Yong-Yao Li, Boris A. Malomed
    Frontiers of Physics, 2021, 16(3): 32201. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-1020-2

    This brief review summarizes recent theoretical and experimental results which predict and establish the existence of quantum droplets (QDs), i.e., robust two- and three-dimensional (2D and 3D) selftrapped states in Bose–Einstein condensates (BECs), which are stabilized by effective self-repulsion induced by quantum fluctuations around the mean-field (MF) states [alias the Lee–Huang–Yang (LHY) effect]. The basic models are presented, taking special care of the dimension crossover, 2D→3D. Recently reported experimental results, which exhibit stable 3D and quasi-2D QDs in binary BECs, with the inter-component attraction slightly exceeding the MF self-repulsion in each component, and in single-component condensates of atoms carrying permanent magnetic moments, are presented in some detail. The summary of theoretical results is focused, chiefly, on 3D and quasi-2D QDs with embedded vorticity, as the possibility to stabilize such states is a remarkable prediction. Stable vortex states are presented both for QDs in free space, and for singular but physically relevant 2D modes pulled to the center by the inverse-square potential, with the quantum collapse suppressed by the LHY effect.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Yi-Yin Zheng, Shan-Tong Chen, Zhi-Peng Huang, Shi-Xuan Dai, Bin Liu, Yong-Yao Li, Shu-Rong Wang
    Frontiers of Physics, 2021, 16(2): 22501. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-1011-3

    We study the stability of zero-vorticity and vortex lattice quantum droplets (LQDs), which are described by a two-dimensional (2D) Gross–Pitaevskii (GP) equation with a periodic potential and Lee– Huang–Yang (LHY) term. The LQDs are divided in two types: onsite-centered and offsite-centered LQDs, the centers of which are located at the minimum and the maximum of the potential, respectively. The stability areas of these two types of LQDs with different number of sites for zero-vorticity and vorticity with S = 1 are given. We found that the μ–N relationship of the stable LQDs with a fixed number of sites can violate the Vakhitov–Kolokolov (VK) criterion, which is a necessary stability condition for nonlinear modes with an attractive interaction. Moreover, the μ–N relationship shows that two types of vortex LQDs with the same number of sites are degenerated, while the zero-vorticity LQDs are not degenerated. It is worth mentioning that the offsite-centered LQDs with zero-vorticity and vortex LQDs with S = 1 are heterogeneous.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Sen Jia, Xingyu Zhou, Chengping Shen
    Frontiers of Physics, 2020, 15(6): 64301. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0978-0

    The three lowest-lying ϒ states, i.e., ϒ(1S), ϒ(2S), and ϒ(3S), composed of bb¯ pairs and below the BB ¯ threshold, provide a good platform for the researches of hadronic physics and physics beyond the Standard Model. They can be produced directly in e+e colliding experiments, such as CLEO, Babar, and Belle, with low continuum backgrounds. In these experiments, many measurements of the exclusive ϒ(1S) and ϒ(2S) decays into light hadrons, which shed light on the “80% rule” for the Okubo–Zweig–Iizuka suppressed decays in the bottomonium sector, were carried out. Meanwhile, many studies of the charmonium and bottomonium productions in ϒ(1S, 2S, 3S) decays were performed, to distinguish different Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) models. Besides, exotic states and new physics were also extensively explored in ϒ(1S, 2S, 3S) decays at CLEO, BaBar, and Belle. The ϒ(1S, 2S, 3S) states can also be produced in pp collisions and in collisions involving heavy ions. The precision measurements of their cross sections and polarizations at the large hadron collider (LHC), especially in the CMS, ATLAS, and LHCb experiments, help to understandΥproduction mechanisms in pp collisions. The observation of the sequentialΥsuppression in heavy ion collisions at CMS, LHCb, and ALICE is of great importance for verifying the quark–gluon plasma predicted by QCD. In this article, we review the experimental results on ϒ(1S, 2S, 3S) at e+e colliders and the LHC, and summarize their prospects at Belle II and the LHC.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Na-Na Zhang (张娜娜), Ming-Jie Tao (陶明杰), Wan-Ting He (何宛亭), Xin-Yu Chen (陈鑫宇), Xiang-Yu Kong (孔祥宇), Fu-Guo Deng (邓富国), Neill Lambert, Qing Ai (艾清)
    Frontiers of Physics, 2021, 16(5): 51501. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-021-1064-y

    Simulation of open quantum dynamics for various Hamiltonians and spectral densities are ubiquitous for studying various quantum systems. On a quantum computer, only log2N qubits are required for the simulation of an N-dimensional quantum system, hence simulation in a quantum computer can greatly reduce the computational complexity compared with classical methods. Recently, a quantum simulation approach was proposed for studying photosynthetic light harvesting [npj Quantum Inf. 4, 52 (2018)]. In this paper, we apply the approach to simulate the open quantum dynamics of various photosynthetic systems. We show that for Drude–Lorentz spectral density, the dimerized geometries with strong couplings within the donor and acceptor clusters respectively exhibit significantly improved efficiency. We also demonstrate that the overall energy transfer can be optimized when the energy gap between the donor and acceptor clusters matches the optimum of the spectral density. The effects of different types of baths, e.g., Ohmic, sub-Ohmic, and super-Ohmic spectral densities are also studied. The present investigations demonstrate that the proposed approach is universal for simulating the exact quantum dynamics of photosynthetic systems.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Yuan-Yuan Wang, Feng-Ping Li, Wei Wei, Bai-Biao Huang, Ying Dai
    Frontiers of Physics, 2021, 16(1): 13501. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0991-3

    Van der Waals (vdW) heterobilayers formed by two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) created a promising platform for various electronic and optical properties. ab initio band results indicate that the band offset of type-II band alignment in TMDCs vdW heterobilayer could be tuned by introducing Janus WSSe monolayer, instead of an external electric field. On the basis of symmetry analysis, the allowed interlayer hopping channels of TMDCs vdW heterobilayer were determined, and a four-level k·p model was developed to obtain the interlayer hopping. Results indicate that the interlayer coupling strength could be tuned by interlayer electric polarization featured by various band offsets. Moreover, the difference in the formation mechanism of interlayer valley excitons in different TMDCs vdW heterobilayers with various interlayer hopping strength was also clarified.

  • RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT
    Linran Fan
    Frontiers of Physics, 2021, 16(2): 21501. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-1023-z
  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Chang-Da Zhou, Zhen Mou, Rui Bao, Zhong Li, Shu-Yun Teng
    Frontiers of Physics, 2021, 16(3): 33503. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-1032-y

    In view of wide applications of structured light fields and plasmonic vortices, we propose the concept of compound plasmonic vortex and design several structured plasmonic vortex generators. This kind of structured plasmonic vortex generators consists of multiple spiral nanoslits and they can generate two or more concentric plasmonic vortices. Different from Laguerre–Gaussian beam, the topological charge of the plasmonic vortex in different region is different. Theoretical analysis lays the basis for the design of radially structured plasmonic vortex generators and numerical simulations for several examples confirm the effectiveness of the design principle. The discussions about the interference of vortex fields definite the generation condition for the structured vortex. This work provides a design methodology for generating new vortices using spiral nanoslits and the advanced radially structured plasmonic vortices is helpful for broadening the applications of vortex fields.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Zhitao Cui, Wei Du, Chengwei Xiao, Qiaohong Li, Rongjian Sa, Chenghua Sun, Zuju Ma
    Frontiers of Physics, 2020, 15(6): 63502. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0980-6

    MoS2 is a promising candidate for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), while its active sites are mainly distributed on the edge sites rather than the basal plane sites. Herein, a strategy to overcome the inertness of the MoS2 basal surface and achieve high HER activity by combining single-boron catalyst and compressive strain was reported through density functional theory (DFT) computations. The ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) simulation on B@MoS2 suggests high thermodynamic and kinetic stability. We found that the rather strong adsorption of hydrogen by B@MoS2 can be alleviated by stress engineering. The optimal stress of −7% can achieve a nearly zero value of ΔGH (~ −0.084 eV), which is close to that of the ideal Pt–SACs for HER. The novel HER activity is attributed to (i) the B– doping brings the active site to the basal plane of MoS2 and reduces the band-gap, thereby increasing the conductivity; (ii) the compressive stress regulates the number of charge transfer between (H)–(B)–(MoS2), weakening the adsorption energy of hydrogen on B@MoS2. Moreover, we constructed a SiN/B@MoS2 heterojunction, which introduces an 8.6% compressive stress for B@MoS2 and yields an ideal ΔGH. This work provides an effective means to achieve high intrinsic HER activity for MoS2.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Xiang-Ru Li, Wo-Liang Yu, Xi-Long Fan, G. Jogesh Babu
    Frontiers of Physics, 2020, 15(5): 54501. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0966-4

    This work investigates the problem of detecting gravitational wave (GW) events based on simulated damped sinusoid signals contaminated with white Gaussian noise. It is treated as a classification problem with one class for the interesting events. The proposed scheme consists of the following two successive steps: decomposing the data using a wavelet packet, representing the GW signal and noise using the derived decomposition coefficients; and determining the existence of any GW event using a convolutional neural network (CNN) with a logistic regression output layer. The characteristic of this work is its comprehensive investigations on CNN structure, detection window width, data resolution, wavelet packet decomposition and detection window overlap scheme. Extensive simulation experiments show excellent performances for reliable detection of signals with a range of GW model parameters and signal-to-noise ratios. While we use a simple waveform model in this study, we expect the method to be particularly valuable when the potential GW shapes are too complex to be characterized with a template bank.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Ning Zhang, Jiayu Wu, Taoyuan Yu, Jiaqi Lv, He Liu, Xiping Xu
    Frontiers of Physics, 2021, 16(2): 23201. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0992-2

    Carbon has three hybridization forms of sp, sp2− and sp3−, and the combination of different forms can obtain different kinds of carbon allotropes, such as diamond, carbon nanotubes, fullerene, graphynes (GYs) and graphdiyne (GDY). Among them, the GDY molecule is a single-layer two-dimensional (2D) planar structure material with highly π-conjugation formed by sp and sp2− hybridization. GDY has a carbon atom ring composed of benzene ring and acetylene, which makes GDY have a uniformly distributed pore structure. In addition, GDY planar material have some slight wrinkles, which makes GDY have better self-stability than other 2D planar materials. The excellent properties of GDY make it attract the attention of researchers. Therefore, GDY is widely used in chemical catalysis, electronics, communications, clean energy and composite materials. This paper summarizes the recent progress of GDY research, including structure, preparation, properties and application of GDY in the field of catalysts.

  • TOPICAL REVIEW
    Lian-Bo Guo (郭连波), Deng Zhang (张登), Lan-Xiang Sun (孙兰香), Shun-Chun Yao (姚顺春), Lei Zhang (张雷), Zhen-Zhen Wang (王珍珍), Qian-Qian Wang (王茜蒨), Hong-Bin Ding (丁洪斌), Yuan Lu (卢渊), Zong-Yu Hou (侯宗余), Zhe Wang (王哲)
    Frontiers of Physics, 2021, 16(2): 22500. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-1007-z

    Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) has been widely studied due to its unique advantages such as remote sensing, real-time multi-elemental detection and none-to-little damage. With the efforts of researchers around the world, LIBS has been developed by leaps and bounds. Moreover, in recent years, more and more Chinese LIBS researchers have put tremendous energy in promoting LIBS applications. It is worth mentioning that the application of LIBS in a specific field has its special application background and technical difficulties, therefore it may develop in different stages. A review summarizing the current development status of LIBS in various fields would be helpful for the development of LIBS technology as well as its applications especially for Chinese LIBS community since most of the researchers in this field work in application. In the present work, we summarized the research status and latest progress of main research groups in coal, metallurgy, and water, etc. Based on the current research status, the challenges and opportunities of LIBS were evaluated, and suggestions were made to further promote LIBS applications.

  • TOPICAL REVIEW
    Yong-Hao Gao, Xu-Ping Yao, Fei-Ye Li, Gang Chen
    Frontiers of Physics, 2020, 15(6): 63201. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0974-4

    Pyrochlore magnets can be a unique platform to demonstrate numerous important concepts and applications of frustrated magnetic physics in modern condensed matter physics. Most works on pyrochlore magnets deal with the interacting spin-1/2 local moments, while much less works have studied the spin-1 systems. We here review the physics with interacting spin-1 local moments on the pyrochlore lattice to illustrate the potentially interesting physics associated with spin-1 magnets. The generic pyrochlore spin-1 model includes the antiferromagnetic Heisenberg interaction, the Dzyaloshinskii– Moriya interaction and the single-ion spin anisotropy. The global phase diagram of this generic spin model is reviewed, and the relation between different quantum phases in the phase diagram is clarified. The critical properties of the transition from the parent quantum paramagnet to the proximate orders are discussed. The presence of quantum order by disorder in the parts of the ordered phases is analyzed. The elementary excitations with respect to the ground states are further reviewed, and the topological natures of these excitations are carefully addressed. The materials’ relevance of the spin-1 pyrochlore magnets are finally reviewed. This review may provide insights about the interesting spin-1 local moments on frustrated systems.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Dimuthu Wijethunge, Lei Zhang, Cheng Tang, Aijun Du
    Frontiers of Physics, 2020, 15(6): 63504. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0987-z

    Favourable band alignment and excellent visible light response are vital for photochemical water splitting. In this work, we have theoretically investigated how ferroelectric polarization and its reversibility in direction can be utilized to modulate the band alignment and optical absorption properties. For this objective, 2D van der Waals heterostructures (HTSs) are constructed by interfacing monolayer MoS2 with ferroelectric In2Se3. We find the switch of polarization direction has dramatically changed the band alignment, thus facilitating different type of reactions. In In2Se3/MoS2/In2Se3 heterostructures, one polarization direction supports hydrogen evolution reaction and another polarization direction can favour oxygen evolution reaction. These can be used to create tuneable photocatalyst materials where water reduction reactions can be selectively controlled by polarization switching. The modulation of band alignment is attributed to the shift of reaction potential caused by spontaneous polarization. Additionally, the formed type-II van der Waals HTSs also significantly improve charge separation and enhance the optical absorption in the visible and infrared regions. Our results pave a way in the design of van der Waals HTSs for water splitting using ferroelectric materials.

  • TOPICAL REVIEW
    Wei-Dong Zhou, Yu-Hui Guo, Ran-Ran Zhang
    Frontiers of Physics, 2020, 15(5): 52201. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0969-1

    Recently, laser ablation assisted spark induced breakdown spectroscopy (LA-SIBS) has been growing rapidly and continue to be extended to a broad range of materials analysis. Characterized by employing a specifically designed high voltage and pulse discharge circuit to generate a spark and used to enhance plasma emission produced by laser ablation, allows direct analysis of materials without prior sample preparation. This paper reviews recent development and application of laser ablation assisted spark induced breakdown spectroscopy for material analysis. Following a summary of fundamentals and instrumentation of the LA-SIBS analytical technique, the development and applications of laser ablation assisted spark induced breakdown spectroscopy for the analysis of conducting materials and insulating materials is described.

  • TOPICAL REVIEW
    Miao Zhu, Muhammad Umair Ali, Changwei Zou, Wei Xie, Songquan Li, Hong Meng
    Frontiers of Physics, 2021, 16(1): 13302. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11467-020-0985-1

    Tactile and temperature sensors are the key components for e-skin fabrication. Organic transistors, a kind of intrinsic logic devices with diverse internal configurations, offer a wide range of options for sensor design and have played a vital role in the fabrication of e-skin-oriented tactile and temperature sensors. This research field has attained tremendous advancements, both in terms of materials design and device architecture, thereby leading to excellent performance of resulting tactile/temperature sensors. Herein, a systematic review of organic transistor-based tactile and temperature sensors is presented to summarize the latest progress in these devices. Particularly, we focus on spotlighting various device structures, underlying mechanisms and their performance. Lastly, an outlook for the future development of these devices is briefly discussed. We anticipate that this review will provide a quick overview of such a rapidly emerging research direction and attract more dedicated efforts for the development of next-generation sensing devices towards e-skin fabrication.