Tuning correlated electron systems from magnetism to unconventional superconductivity
PhD project on pressure-tuning of electronic matter with focus on magnetism and superconductivity (start date any time until October 2016; contact Dr Philipp Niklowitz)
Applications are invited for a PhD project in experimental condensed matter physics. In this project you will explore the rich temperature-pressure phase diagrams of strongly correlated electron systems. You will investigate ferromagnetic quantum critical regions, where the emergence of modulated magnetic order has been predicted. You will also tune antiferromagnetic interactions to search for new phases of electronic matter including unconventional and high-temperature superconductivity. The project will involve the exploration of selected Fe-based compounds.
To achieve a high success rate in our search for exciting physics, we tune candidate materials with high-pressure equipment in the wide range between 0 and 200 kbar. At Royal Holloway there is considerable expertise in high pressure tuning of strongly correlated materials. Extensive equipment for measurements of thermodynamic and electrical and thermal transport properties down to low temperatures is available. Recently, we have also developed an extreme-conditions susceptometer technique for measurements of magnetic properties. We have established a collaboration with Diamond Light Source Ltd at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory on the Harwell Campus. The Extreme Conditions Beamline I15 enables powder diffraction studies up to high pressures and down to low temperatures. We also perform neutron scattering experiments regularly. All this will allow you to collect comprehensive results during your PhD project by combining bulk measurements at Royal Holloway with scattering experiments at large facilities.
You will be included in the postgraduate teaching programme of GRADnet of the South East Physics network (SEPnet).
The envisaged start date for this position is any time until October 2016. You should have a degree in physics or a related subject (preferably M.Sc. but exceptional B.Sc. graduates will also be considered). An interest in experimental condensed matter physics is essential and a background in this subject would be a great advantage.
For details on the project or application procedures please contact Dr Philipp Niklowitz.