Kondo lattices with strong crystal field effects
We are looking for a PhD at the interface of material science and solid state physics, who is equally interested in the synthesis and crystal growth of new materials and in the study of their magnetic and electronic properties. Kondo lattices are intermetallic compounds based on the rare earth elements Cer or Ytterbium, which present very unusual and unique properties at low temperatures. Their ground state can be continuously tuned from a magnetic ordered one to a paramagnetic one through a so-called quantum critical point. The resulting very strong electronic correlations effects lead to very peculiar phenomena, e.g. extremely heavy charge carriers with an effective mass thousand time larger than that of a free electron, unconventional superconductivity, and unconventional magnetic states, which are far from being understood. One aim of this PhD thesis is to shed some light into the relevance of orbital degrees of freedom in such systems, a problem which has largely been ignored in the past in this field. We expect about 50% of the work to be devoted to the synthesis, the crystal growth, and the metallographic characterization of new types of Kondo lattices, and the remaining 50% to the determination of their magnetic and electronic properties. For the latter we plan extensive Raman scattering experiments to be performed in Grenoble. Therefore a willingness to stay for some time in Grenoble is an important prerequisite for this position.