Ultracold atoms in an optical lattice provide a unique approach to study quantum many-body systems, previously only possible by using condensed-matter experimental systems. This new approach, often called quantum simulation, becomes possible because of the high controllability of the system parameters and the inherent cleanness without lattice defects and impurities. In this article, we review recent developments in this rapidly growing field of ultracold atoms in an optical lattice, with special focus on quantum simulations using our newly created quantum many-body system of two-electron atoms of ytterbium. In addition, we also mention other interesting possibilities offered by this novel experimental platform, such as applications to precision measurements for studying fundamental physics and a Rydberg atom quantum computation.
Silicon carbide (SiC) power devices significantly outperform the well-established silicon (Si) devices in terms of high breakdown voltage, low power loss, and fast switching. This review briefly introduces the major features of SiC power devices and then presents research works on breakdown phenomena in SiC pn junctions and related discussion which takes into account the energy band structure. Next, recent progress in SiC metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistors, which are the most important unipolar devices, is described with an emphasis on the improvement of channel mobility at the SiO2/SiC interface. The development of SiC bipolar devices such as pin diodes and insulated gate bipolar transistors, which are promising for ultrahigh-voltage (>10 kV) applications, are introduced and the effect of carrier lifetime enhancement is demonstrated. The current status of mass production and how SiC power devices can contribute to energy saving are also described.
Biaryl synthesis continues to occupy a central role in chemical synthesis. From blockbuster drug molecules to organic electronics, biaryls present numerous possibilities and new applications continue to emerge. Transition-metal-catalyzed coupling reactions represent the gold standard for biaryl synthesis and the mechanistic steps, such as reductive elimination, are well established. Developing routes that exploit alternative mechanistic scenarios could give unprecedented biaryl structures and expand the portfolio of biaryl applications. We have developed metal-free C–H/C–H couplings of aryl sulfoxides with phenols to afford 2-hydroxy-2′-sulfanylbiaryls. This cascade strategy consists of an interrupted Pummerer reaction and [3,3] sigmatropic rearrangement. Our method enables the synthesis of intriguing aromatic molecules, including oligoarenes, enantioenriched diheterohelicenes, and polyfluorobiaryls. From our successes in aryl sulfoxide/phenol couplings and a deeper understanding of sigmatropic rearrangements for biaryl synthesis, we have established related methods, such as aryl sulfoxide/aniline and aryl iodane/phenol couplings. Overall, our fundamental interests in underexplored reaction mechanisms have led to various methods for accessing important biaryl architectures.