Jun 2017, Volume 12 Issue 3
    

Cover illustration

  • The physics of huge magnetoresistance in WTe2 requires full analysis of multiple elecctronic components. Xing-Chen Pan et al. combined magnetotransport and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy to study the electronic structures of WTe2. By analyzing the magnetoresistance and Hall data with mobility spectrum method, the authors demonstrated perfect electron-hole balance in pristine WTe2. Furthermore, transport experiments under ul [Detail] ...


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  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Shu-Xia Liu,Yi-Zhao Geng,Shi-Wei Yan

    Approximately half of all human cancers show normal TP53 gene expression but aberrant overexpression of MDM2 and/or MDMX. This fact suggests a promising cancer therapeutic strategy in targeting the interactions between p53 and MDM2/MDMX. To help realize the goal of developing effective inhibitors to disrupt the p53–MDM2/MDMX interaction, we systematically investigated the structural and interaction characteristics of p53 with inhibitors of its interactions with MDM2 and MDMX from an atomistic perspective using stochastic molecular dynamics simulations. We found that some specific α helices in the structures of MDM2 and MDMX play key roles in their binding to inhibitors, and that the hydrogen bond formed by the Trp23 residue of p53 with its counterpart in MDM2 or MDMX determines the dynamic competition processes of the disruption of the MDM2–p53 interaction and replacement of p53 from the MDM2–p53 complex in vivo. The results reported in this paper are expected to provide basic information for designing functional inhibitors and realizing new strategies of cancer gene therapy.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Chaoyang Zhang,Yang Chen,Gang Hu

    Many practical systems in natural and social sciences can be described by dynamical networks. Day by day we have measured and accumulated huge amounts of data from these networks, which can be used by us to further our understanding of the world. The structures of the networks producing these data are often unknown. Consequently, understanding the structures of these networks from available data turns to be one of the central issues in interdisciplinary fields, which is called the network reconstruction problem. In this paper, we considered problems of network reconstructions using partially available data and some situations where data availabilities are not sufficient for conventional network reconstructions. Furthermore, we proposed to infer subnetwork with data of the subnetwork available only and other nodes of the entire network hidden; to depict group-group interactions in networks with averages of groups of node variables available; and to perform network reconstructions with known data of node variables only when networks are driven by both unknown internal fast-varying noises and unknown external slowly-varying signals. All these situations are expected to be common in practical systems and the methods and results may be useful for real world applications.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Chang-Hai Tian, Xi-Yun Zhang, Zhen-Hua Wang, Zong-Hua Liu

    Chimera states have been studied in 1D arrays, and a variety of different chimera states have been found using different models. Research has recently been extended to 2D arrays but only to phase models of them. Here, we extend it to a nonphase model of 2D arrays of neurons and focus on the influence of nonlocal coupling. Using extensive numerical simulations, we find, surprisingly, that this system can show most types of previously observed chimera states, in contrast to previous models, where only one or a few types of chimera states can be observed in each model. We also find that this model can show some special chimera-like patterns such as gridding and multicolumn patterns, which were previously observed only in phase models. Further, we present an effective approach, i.e., removing some of the coupling links, to generate heterogeneous coupling, which results in diverse chimera-like patterns and even induces transformations from one chimera-like pattern to another.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Zhi-Song Lv,Chen-Ping Zhu,Pei Nie,Jing Zhao,Hui-Jie Yang,Yan-Jun Wang,Chin-Kun Hu

    The distribution of the geometric distances of connected neurons is a practical factor underlying neural networks in the brain. It can affect the brain’s dynamic properties at the ground level. Karbowski derived a power-law decay distribution that has not yet been verified by experiment. In this work, we check its validity using simulations with a phenomenological model. Based on the in vitro twodimensional development of neural networks in culture vessels by Ito, we match the synapse number saturation time to obtain suitable parameters for the development process, then determine the distribution of distances between connected neurons under such conditions. Our simulations obtain a clear exponential distribution instead of a power-law one, which indicates that Karbowski’s conclusion is invalid, at least for the case of in vitro neural network development in two-dimensional culture vessels.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Fang Wei,Xiang Li,Meichun Cai,Yanping Liu,Peter Jung,Jianwei Shuai

    In neurons of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the intracellular Ca2+ concentration is increased by its release from the endoplasmic reticulum via the inositol 1, 4, 5-triphosphate receptor (IP3R). In this paper, we discuss the IP3R gating dynamics in familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD) cells induced with mutation PS1. By fitting the parameters of an IP3R channel model to experimental data of the open probability, the mean open time and the mean closed time of IP3R channels, in control cells and FAD mutant cells, we suggest that the interaction of presenilin mutation PS1 with IP3R channels leads the decrease in the unbinding rates of IP3 and the activating Ca2+ from IP3Rs. As a result, the increased affinities of IP3 and activating Ca2+ for IP3R channels induce the increase in the Ca2+ signal in FAD mutant cells. Specifically, the PS1 mutation decreases the IP3 dissociation rate of IP3R channels significantly in FAD mutant cells. Our results suggest possible novel targets for FAD therapeutic intervention.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Yunfeng Hua,Zhenyu Deng,Yangwei Jiang,Linxi Zhang

    Molecular dynamics simulations of a coarse-grained bead-spring model of ring polymer brushes under compression are presented. Flexible polymer brushes are always disordered during compression, whereas semiflexible polymer brushes tend to be ordered under sufficiently strong compression. Further, the polymer monomer density of the semiflexible polymer brush is very high near the brush surface, inducing a peak value of the free energy near the surface. Therefore, when nanoparticles are compressed in semiflexible ring polymer brushes, they tend to exhibit a closely packed single-layer structure between the brush surface and the impenetrable wall, and a quasi-two-dimensional ordered structure near the brush surface is formed under strong compression. These findings provide a new approach to designing responsive applications.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Thomas Pope,Werner Hofer

    It has been found that a model of extended electrons is more suited to describe theoretical simulations and experimental results obtained via scanning tunnelling microscopes, but while the dynamic properties are easily incorporated, magnetic properties, and in particular electron spin properties pose a problem due to their conceived isotropy in the absence of measurement. The spin of an electron reacts with a magnetic field and thus has the properties of a vector. However, electron spin is also isotropic, suggesting that it does not have the properties of a vector. This central conflict in the description of an electron’s spin, we believe, is the root of many of the paradoxical properties measured and postulated for quantum spin particles. Exploiting a model in which the electron spin is described consistently in real three-dimensional space – an extended electron model – we demonstrate that spin may be described by a vector and still maintain its isotropy. In this framework, we re-evaluate the Stern–Gerlach experiments, the Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen experiments, and the effect of consecutive measurements and find in all cases a fairly intuitive explanation.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Hui-Min Tang, Xing-Tao Jia, Shi-Zhuo Wang

    We investigated the thermal spin transfer effect in FM|NM|YIG multilayers using the first principles scattering theory. At room temperature, the spin Seebeck torque TSSE~1.0 μJ/(K·m2) in an Ag|Fe|Ag|YIG multilayer, which is around 40% larger than that estimated from mixing conductance. The quantum effects such as interlayer exchange coupling between FM and YIG could be responsible for the enhancements. Based on the LLG equation, we predict that a temperature bias of ~10 K can reverse the magnetic configurations, circularly, in a multilayer at room temperature.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Meng-Bo Luo,Shuang Zhang,Fan Wu,Li-Zhen Sun

    The translocation time of a polymer chain through an interaction energy gradient nanopore was studied by Monte Carlo simulations and the Fokker–Planck equation with double-absorbing boundary conditions. Both the simulation and calculation revealed three different behaviors for polymer translocation. These behaviors can be explained qualitatively from free-energy landscapes obtained for polymer translocation at different parameters. Results show that the translocation time of a polymer chain through a nanopore can be tuned by suitably designing the interaction energy gradient.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Xiao-Yan Yao,Li-Juan Yang

    Conical spin order, where the spin components along the conical axis form magnetization while the spiral parts induce ferroelectric polarization, possesses multiferroicity with inherent magnetoelectric coupling. A Monte Carlo simulation performed using a classical Heisenberg spinel (AB2O4) model reveals a multiple conical spin order, i.e., three modulations with different cone angles and wavelengths on A sites and two alternate B sites. The spin order not only exists as the ground state but also survives locally stably in a larger parameter region. The whole existence range can be effectively expanded by anisotropy to cover the cases of CoCr2O4 and MnCr2O4. The multiple conical spin order is well maintained and finely tuned by frustration and anisotropy over the whole existence range, and the magnetic and ferroelectric properties are influenced correspondingly.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Hong Lu, Shuang Jia

    The discovery of the first Weyl semimetal tantalum monoarsenide has greatly promoted physical research on the niobium and tantalum pnictide compounds. Crystallizing into the NbAs- and OsGe2-type structures, these mono- and di-pnictide semimetals manifest exotic electrical transport properties in magnetic field, which only occur in their single-crystalline forms. All the unusual electrical properties correspond to their poor carriers, which are indeed vulnerable to various crystal defects. In this review article, we present a comprehensive comparison of the crystal growth and electrical transport properties of the two semimetal families. We then discuss in detail the possible characteristic transport features, such as the chiral anomaly of Weyl quasiparticles. We emphasize the importance of crystal growth and sample manipulation for exploring the unique topological properties of Weyl semimetals in the future.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Xiao Yan,Cheng Zhang,Shan-Shan Liu,Yan-Wen Liu,David Wei Zhang,Fa-Xian Xiu,Peng Zhou

    Monocrystalline SrMnBi2 thin films were grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), and their transport properties were investigated. A high and unsaturated linear magnetoresistance (MR) was observed, which exhibited a transition from a semi-classical weak-field B2 dependence to a high-field linear dependence. An unusual nonlinear Hall resistance was also observed because of the anisotropic Dirac fermions. The two-carrier model was adopted to analyze the unusual Hall resistance quantitatively. The fitting results yielded carrier densities and mobilities of 3.75×1014 cm−2 and 850 cm2·V−1s−1, respectively, for holes, and 1.468×1013 cm−2, 4118 cm2·V−1·s−1, respectively, for electrons, with a hole-dominant conduction at 2.5 K. Hence, an effective mobility can be achieved, which is in reasonable agreement with the effective hole mobility of 1800 cm2·V−1·s−1, extracted from the MR. Further, the angle-dependent MR, proportional to cosθ, where θ is the angle between the external magnetic field and the perpendicular orientation of the sample plane, also implies a high anisotropy of the Fermi surface. Our results about SrMnBi2 thin films, as one of a new class of AEMnBi2 and AEMnSb2 (AE= Ca, Sr, Ba, Yb, Eu) materials, suggest that they have a lot of exotic transport properties to be investigated, and that their high mobility might facilitate electronic device applications.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Yupeng Li,Zhen Wang,Pengshan Li,Xiaojun Yang,Zhixuan Shen,Feng Sheng,Xiaodong Li,Yunhao Lu,Yi Zheng,Zhu-An Xu

    Chiral anomaly-induced negative magnetoresistance (NMR) has been widely used as critical transport evidence for the existence of Weyl fermions in topological semimetals. In this mini-review, we discuss the general observation of NMR phenomena in non-centrosymmetric NbP and NbAs. We show that NMR can arise from the intrinsic chiral anomaly of Weyl fermions and/or extrinsic effects, such as the superimposition of Hall signals; field-dependent inhomogeneous current flow in the bulk, i.e., current jetting; and weak localization (WL) of coexistent trivial carriers. The WL-controlled NMR is heavily dependent on sample quality and is characterized by a pronounced crossover from positive to negative MR growth at elevated temperatures, resulting from the competition between the phase coherence time and the spin-orbital scattering constant of the bulk trivial pockets. Thus, the correlation between the NMR and the chiral anomaly need to be scrutinized without the support of complimentary techniques. Because of the lifting of spin degeneracy, the spin orientations of Weyl fermions are either parallel or antiparallel to the momentum, which is a unique physical property known as helicity. The conservation of helicity provides strong protection for the transport of Weyl fermions, which can only be effectively scattered by magnetic impurities. Chemical doping with magnetic and non-magnetic impurities is thus more convincing than the NMR method for detecting the existence of Weyl fermions.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Xing-Chen Pan,Yiming Pan,Juan Jiang,Huakun Zuo,Huimei Liu,Xuliang Chen,Zhongxia Wei,Shuai Zhang,Zhihe Wang,Xiangang Wan,Zhaorong Yang,Donglai Feng,Zhengcai Xia,Liang Li,Fengqi Song,Baigeng Wang,Yuheng Zhang,Guanghou Wang

    Unsaturated magnetoresistance (MR) has been reported in type-II Weyl semimetal WTe2, manifested as a perfect compensation of opposite carriers. We report linear MR (LMR) in WTe2 crystals, the onset of which was identified by constructing the MR mobility spectra for weak fields. The LMR further increased and became dominant for fields stronger than 20 T, while the parabolic MR gradually decayed. The LMR was also observed in high-pressure conditions.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Rui Yu,Zhong Fang,Xi Dai,Hongming Weng

    Topological semimetals are newly discovered states of quantum matter, which have extended the concept of topological states from insulators to metals and attracted great research interest in recent years. In general, there are three kinds of topological semimetals, namely Dirac semimetals, Weyl semimetals, and nodal line semimetals. Nodal line semimetals can be considered as precursor states for other topological states. For example, starting from such nodal line states, the nodal line structure might evolve into Weyl points, convert into Dirac points, or become a topological insulator by introducing the spin–orbit coupling (SOC) or mass term. In this review paper, we introduce theoretical materials that show the nodal line semimetal state, including the all-carbon Mackay–Terrones crystal (MTC), anti-perovskite Cu3PdN, pressed black phosphorus, and the CaP3 family of materials, and we present the design principles for obtaining such novel states of matter.

  • REVIEW ARTICLE
    Hai-Zhou Lu,Shun-Qing Shen

    Topological semimetals are three-dimensional topological states of matter, in which the conduction and valence bands touch at a finite number of points, i.e., the Weyl nodes. Topological semimetals host paired monopoles and antimonopoles of Berry curvature at the Weyl nodes and topologically protected Fermi arcs at certain surfaces. We review our recent works on quantum transport in topological semimetals, according to the strength of the magnetic field. At weak magnetic fields, there are competitions between the positive magnetoresistivity induced by the weak anti-localization effect and negative magnetoresistivity related to the nontrivial Berry curvature. We propose a fitting formula for the magnetoconductivity of the weak anti-localization. We expect that the weak localization may be induced by inter-valley effects and interaction effect, and occur in double-Weyl semimetals. For the negative magnetoresistance induced by the nontrivial Berry curvature in topological semimetals, we show the dependence of the negative magnetoresistance on the carrier density. At strong magnetic fields, specifically, in the quantum limit, the magnetoconductivity depends on the type and range of the scattering potential of disorder. The high-field positive magnetoconductivity may not be a compelling signature of the chiral anomaly. For long-range Gaussian scattering potential and half filling, the magnetoconductivity can be linear in the quantum limit. A minimal conductivity is found at the Weyl nodes although the density of states vanishes there.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Hong-Jie Bi, Yan Li, Li Zhou, Shu-Guang Guan

    Synchronization in a frequency-weighted Kuramoto model with a uniform frequency distribution is studied. We plot the bifurcation diagram and identify the asymptotic coherent states. Numerical simulations show that the system undergoes two first-order transitions in both the forward and backward directions. Apart from the trivial phase-locked state, a novel nonstationary coherent state, i.e., a nontrivial standing wave state is observed and characterized. In this state, oscillators inside the coherent clusters are not frequency-locked as they would be in the usual standing wave state. Instead, their average frequencies are locked to a constant. The critical coupling strength from the incoherent state to the nontrivial standing wave state can be obtained by performing linear stability analysis. The theoretical results are supported by the numerical simulations.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Yunhuan Nie,Hua Tong,Jun Liu,Mengjie Zu,Ning Xu

    By introducing four fundamental types of disorders into a two-dimensional triangular lattice separately, we determine the role of each type of disorder in the vibration of the resulting mass-spring networks. We are concerned mainly with the origin of the boson peak and the connection between the boson peak and the transverse Ioffe–Regel limit. For all types of disorders, we observe the emergence of the boson peak and Ioffe–Regel limits. With increasing disorder, the boson peak frequency ωBP, transverse Ioffe–Regel frequency ωIRT, and longitudinal Ioffe–Regel frequency ωIRL all decrease. We find that there are two ways for the boson peak to form: developing from and coexisting with (but remaining independent of) the transverse van Hove singularity without and with local coordination number fluctuation. In the presence of a single type of disorder, ωIRTωBR, and ωIRTωBP only when the disorder is sufficiently strong and causes spatial fluctuation of the local coordination number. Moreover, if there is no positional disorder, ωIRTωIRL. Therefore, the argument that the boson peak is equivalent to the transverse Ioffe–Regel limit is not general. Our results suggest that both local coordination number and positional disorder are necessary for the argument to hold, which is actually the case for most disordered solids such as marginally jammed solids and structural glasses. We further combine two types of disorders to cause disorder in both the local coordination number and lattice site position. The density of vibrational states of the resulting networks resembles that of marginally jammed solids well. However, the relation between the boson peak and the transverse Ioffe–Regel limit is still indefinite and condition-dependent. Therefore, the interplay between different types of disorders is complicated, and more in-depth studies are required to sort it out.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Jun-Ying Huang, Zu-Hui Wu, Ji-Ping Huang

    The transmission spectra of a TiO2-silicone oil suspension in an increasing external electric field are studied. As the electric field increases, the structure of the suspension changes from a disordered one to an ordered one. Interestingly, the transmission spectra blueshift in this structure-ordering process. Furthermore, the relative transmission spectra exhibit Fano-like asymmetric line shapes. The deviation ratio of each asymmetric line shape increases monotonously as the disorder of the suspension decreases. We suggest that this blueshift phenomenon can be used to characterize the disorder strength of threed-imensional systems.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Michael Suleymanov, Lawrence Horwitz, Asher Yahalom

    A relativistic 4D string is described in the framework of the covariant quantum theory first introduced by Stueckelberg [Helv. Phys. Acta 14, 588 (1941)], and further developed by Horwitz and Piron [Helv. Phys. Acta 46, 316 (1973)], and discussed at length in the book of Horwitz [Relativistic Quantum Mechanics, Springer (2015)]. We describe the space-time string using the solutions of relativistic harmonic oscillator [J. Math. Phys. 30, 66 (1989)]. We first study the problem of the discrete string, both classically and quantum mechanically, and then turn to a study of the continuum limit, which contains a basically new formalism for the quantization of an extended system. The mass and energy spectrum are derived. Some comparison is made with known string models.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    V. B. Bobrov,S. A. Trigger

    Within the self-consistent Hartree–Fock approximation, an explicit in this approximation expression for the ground state energy of inhomogeneous Bose gas is derived as a functional of the inhomogeneous density of the Bose–Einstein condensate. The results obtained are based on existence of the off-diagonal long-range order in the single-particle density matrix for systems with a Bose–Einstein condensate. This makes it possible to avoid the use of anomalous averages. The explicit form of the kinetic energy, which differs from one in the Gross–Pitaevski approach, is found. The obtained form of kinetic energy is valid beyond the Hartree–Fock approximation and can be applied for arbitrary strong interparticle interaction.