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PhD Studentship: Strain Tuning of Quantum Magnetism

University of Birmingham - School of Physics and Astronomy

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Birmingham
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 10th September 2021
Closes: 10th December 2021

Quantum magnets exhibit a rich variety of exotic quantum phases and transitions. Measurements on model systems can be closely compared with theoretical results, enabling bottom-up understanding of collective quantum phenomena that lie at the heart of modern condensed matter physics.

The aim of this project is to realise exotic quantum phases (e.g., spin liquids) and transitions in quantum magnetic insulators including Na3Co2SbO6 via strain tuning, and to characterise them with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), magnetic susceptibility, and other complementary techniques. In particular, the systems of interest are quantum magnetic insulators with geometrically frustrated lattices, where modest perturbations could give rise to dramatic effects.

Strain tuning is a clean way to modify electronic structures. It was pioneered by one of the supervisors (CH), and is increasingly being applied to investigating strongly correlated materials worldwide. The other supervisor (MC) is an expert on investigation of magnetic structure and dynamics using NMR, a powerful local-probe technique. This project provides a unique opportunity to combine both expertises. Because strain tuning can induce strong changes in electronic structure without introducing disorder, it offers new levels of precision in measurement of finely-tuned electronic and magnetic systems.

In addition to the main project on magnetic insulators, the student will also be encouraged to complete development of a new stress cell for magnetic susceptibility measurements, using a correlated metal, Sr2RuO4, as a test material.

The research will be delivered in part through collaboration with leading scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne, Switzerland, and/or the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids in Dresden, Germany. The student will be jointly supervised by Drs M. Chung (M. Jeong) and C. Hicks, and is expected to start before the end of year 2021 (or around the New Year, latest).

The funding is only available to UK citizens or those who have been resident in the UK for a period of 3 years or more. Non-UK/EU students: If you have the correct qualifications and access to your own funding, either from your home country or other external funders, your application to work in this project will be considered.

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