Report

Ferroelectricity in Free Niobium Clusters

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  23 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5623, pp. 1265-1269
DOI: 10.1126/science.1083247

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Abstract

Electric deflections of gas-phase, cryogenically cooled, neutral niobium clusters [NbN; number of atoms (N) = 2 to 150, temperature (T) = 20to 300kelvin], measured in molecular beams, show that cold clusters may attain an anomalous component with very large electric dipole moments. In contrast, room-temperature measurements show normal metallic polarizabilities. Characteristic energies kBTG(N) [Boltzmann constant kB times a transition temperature TG(N)] are identified, below which the ferroelectric-like state develops. Generally, TG decreases [110 > TG(N) > 10K] as N increases, with pronounced even-odd alternations for N > 38. This new state of metallic matter may be related to bulk superconductivity.

View Full Text