Strain Tuning of Frustrated Magnets

Frustration in quantum magnets is believed to be the source of unconventional forms of magnetism, such as the enigmatic ‘quantum spin liquid’, in which the spins do not order despite exhibiting long-range correlations. The origin of frustration is that not all magnetic interactions can be minimized simultaneously. For example, when antiferromagnetically coupled Ising spins are placed on a triangle, then there is no configuration that satisfies all interactions. Consequently, frustration crucially depends on the lattice symmetry.

With the recent advances of controlling the lattice symmetry through uniaxial pressure with unprecedented levels of control, driven by the world-leading expertise at the MPI CPfS in Dresden, it is only now possible to tune frustration continuously in candidate materials for frustrated magnetism. In this project, you will study the thermodynamic and structural properties of frustrated magnets under uniaxial pressure. In this way, you will determine the phase diagrams of frustrated magnets and quantify the symmetry breaking associated with the application of uniaxial pressure. The ultimate goal is to combine these experimental results with theoretical modelling to advance the microscopic understanding of frustrated magnetism in correlated electron systems.

This project would suit a student with a background in solid state physics or material science, who is interested in performing highly advanced experiments using cutting-edge technology. The majority of the experimental work will be performed at MPI CPfS Dresden, in close collaboration with the scattering group of Prof. J. Geck at TU Dresden.

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