Imaging vortex matter in unconventional superconductors

Superconducting vortices emerge as line defects where the order parameter vanishes and quantized magnetic flux penetrates the superconductor. The spatial arrangement of vortices, along with the behavior of excited quasiparticles within their cores, provides valuable insights into the underlying pairing symmetry. Notably, in unconventional superconductors, elusive quasiparticles such as Majorana zero modes are predicted to appear in the vortex cores [1].

This project offers a unique opportunity to delve into the realm of unconventional superconductors through comprehensive imaging of vortex matter, spanning both microscopic and macroscopic scales. By scanning tunneling microscopy, you will image the microscopic structure of individual vortex cores, and you can determine the electronic structure of the bound quasiparticles within [2]. On the other hand, by small-angle neutron scattering, you will capture the macroscopic structure and study the length scales and dynamics of the vortex lattice [3]. The outcomes of this project promise a comprehensive grasp of vortex matter, potentially uncovering novel electronic and magnetic phenomena in unconventional superconductors.

The selected candidate will work with Dr. Jianfeng Ge at MPI CPfS, specializing in cryogenic STM and other transport characterization, as well as with Prof. Dmytro Inosov at TU Dresden, an expert in neutron scattering. Prospective candidates should possess a solid foundation in solid state physics and demonstrate a keen enthusiasm for collaborative research ventures.

[1] A. Yazdani, F. von Oppen, B. I. Halperin, A. Yacoby
Hunting for Majoranas
Science 380, eade0850 (2023)
[2] J. F. Ge, K. M. Bastiaans, D. Chatzopoulos, D. Cho, W. O. Tromp, T. Benschop, J. Niu, G. D. Gu, M. P. Allan
Single-electron charge transfer into putative Majorana and trivial modes in individual vortices
Nature Communications 14, 3341 (2023)
[3] A. S. Cameron, Y. S. Yerin, Y. V. Tymoshenko, P. Y. Portnichenko, A. S. Sukhanov, M. Ciomaga Hatnean, D. Mc K. Paul, G. Balakrishnan, R. Cubitt, A. Heinemann, D. S. Inosov
Rotation of the magnetic vortex lattice in Ru7B3 driven by the effects of broken time-reversal and inversion symmetry
Phys. Rev. B 100, 024518 (2019)

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