Controlling Emergent Quantum Phases through Strain-tuning of Electronic Structure
The strong interactions at the heart of correlated electron materials yield striking collective states such as superconductivity or magnetism, and often mediate giant responses to small external perturbations. This offers unique opportunities to tune these subtle quantum many-body systems, to shed new light on their underlying physics and ultimately to engineer desired functional properties. In this project, you will exploit externally applied and continuously tuneable mechanical strain in an attempt to harness control over emergent phases in correlated solids. You will perform low-temperature transport measurements as a function of uni- and bi-axial strain using custom apparatus within the world-leading facilities of the Max-Planck Institute for the Chemical Physics of Solids in Dresden, Germany. You will also design similar apparatus that can be integrated within the state-of-the-art systems for angle-resolved photoemission (ARPES) in St Andrews, and at synchrotron light sources within the UK, Europe and the USA. You will spend part of your time performing research in MPI Dresden, part in St Andrews, and will also undertake experiments at national and international facilities. Thus, a willingness to travel is an essential prerequisite. Collaborations in this area are also envisaged with the STM group of Dr. Peter Wahl in St Andrews.