Thermodynamics of designer quantum materials

Next Generation Magnetisation and Susceptibility Measurements

Artificial designer heterostructures of correlated electron systems open up a wide range of exciting possibilities for the creation of new materials [1]. The atomic-layer-by-atomic-layer deposition now achievable in thin films gives a unique potential to manipulate the properties of this new class of materials, ultimately allowing the creation of new phases with properties difficult to attain in bulk compounds. Relevant examples that have attracted wide interest in recent years include unconventional superconductors [2], complex density wave ordering [3] and topologically nontrivial phases (see, e.g., [2]).

At the same time the intrinsic low thermal mass of such materials poses a fundamental challenge to our capabilities of determining key properties such as magnetisation and specific heat [3] over a wide range of temperatures and high magnetic field. The successful PhD candidate will be part of a team developing and applying new experimental tools based on state-of-the-art MEMS technology and techniques to overcome this limitation. First prototypes have been built and your work will touch on a wide range of skills including basic numerical simulations and modelling of setups for optimisation (a design study is show here), hands-on-work installing them, instrumentation control for the (low temperature) experiments, advanced data analysis and of course the study of the physical phenomena in these new types of materials.


[1] J. Mannhart and D. Schlom
Oxide Interfaces—An Opportunity for Electronics

Science 327, 1607 (2010)

[2] D. Li, K. Lee, B.Y. Wang, M. Osada, S. Crossley, H.R. Lee, Y. Cui, Y. Hikita, and H.Y. Hwang
Superconductivity in an infinite-layer nickelate
Nature 572, 624 (2019)
[3] A.W. Rost, R.S. Perry, J.-F. Mercure, A.P. Mackenzie, S.A. Grigera
Entropy Landscape of Phase Formation Associated with Quantum Criticality in Sr3Ru2O7
Science  325, 1360 (2009)

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