Thermal conductivity of correlated electron materials under uniaxial pressure

Correlated electron materials are characterized by strong electronic interactions which give rise to a plethora of exotic ordering phenomena, such as superconductivity, magnetism or even insulating phases. At the same time, those systems are often characterized by a strong response to the application of external stimuli, allowing to tune materials in laboratory settings and eventually pathing the way to their use in applications.

Sketch of an experimental setup to measure thermal conductivity under uniaxial pressure.

In recent years, following the development of pioneering devices at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, uniaxial pressure has become a very powerful tuning parameter for the study of quantum materials [1,2,3]. To gain deeper insight into the scattering mechanisms of correlated electron systems under uniaxial pressure, it is essential to establish thermal conductivity measurements under uniaxial pressure, which is the goal of the present project. Thermal conductivity is known to be sensitive to different scattering processes than charge transport. Once developed, we will be particularly interested in understanding thermal transport in strain-tuned ultrapure correlated metals close to van Hove singularities [4].

The project will involve the use of in-house Focused Ion Beam facilities, heat transport simulations, and delicate high-pressure experiments. We are looking for a PhD student with background in solid-state physics or materials science, who is interested in performing experiments under multi-extreme conditions.


[1] A. Steppke, L. Zhao, M.E. Barber, T. Scaffidi, F. Jerzembeck, H. Rosner, A.S. Gibbs, Y. Maeno, S.H. Simon, A.P. Mackenzie, C.W. Hicks
Strong peak in Tc of Sr2RuO4 under uniaxial pressure
Science 355, eaaf9398 (2017)
[2] M. E. Barber, A. S. Gibbs, Y. Maeno, A. P. Mackenzie, and C. W. Hicks
Resistivity in the Vicinity of a van Hove Singularity: Sr2RuO4 under Uniaxial Pressure
Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 076601 (2018)
[3] E. Gati, L. Xiang, L. Bud'ko, and P.C. Canfield
Hydrostatic and Uniaxial Pressure Tuning of Iron-Based Superconductors: Insights into Superconductivity, Magnetism, Nematicity, and Collapsed Tetragonal Transitions
Annalen der Physik 532, 2000248 (2020)
[4] V.C. Stangier, E. Berg, J. Schmalian
Breakdown of the Wiedemann-Franz law at the Lifshitz point of strained Sr2RuO4

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