Condensed Matter Physics Research
Student Opportunities in
[Space Science][Condensed Matter]
Last modified 25-Oct-97.
Thermal Physics Laboratory
We conduct a multi disciplinary and multi institutional research effort develop fundamental experimental and theoretical research into the physical properties of amorphous, ordered, and nanostructured solids. Materials being investigated include metals, insulators, semiconductors and amorphous solids. The Phenomena of interest include phase transitions, localization, electronic, magnetic, and lattice structure of solids. In particular emphasis is given to high temperature superconductors, heavy fermion systems and Kondo insulators. The research effort will focus on:
Synthesis, characterization, and analysis of new materials by novel methods and establishing the optimum processing parameters to produce high quality single crystal and bulk materials,
Thermal characterization under low or ultra-low temperatures, ultra-high pressures, and high magnetic fields, angle resolved photoemission and neutron scattering studies and surface studies.
The central focus will be understanding the basic mechanism of high temperature superconductivity in cuprates. Some of the research areas include, interaction between superconductivity and magnetism, improvement of the critical current density, theoretical and experimental investigation of the static and dynamic behavior of magnetic flux lines and pinning mechanisms, and identification of the superconducting order parameters. These topics are investigated under a variety of materials configurations such as thin and thick films, single crystals, melt processed and magnetically aligned specimens. In addition ternary silver alloys for cladding of high -Tc powders and deposition of thick films on polycrystalline metallic substrates will be investigated.
D and F-electron systems
The emphasis will be
on the intrinsic anistropic superconducting and normal state
properties on single crystals and search for a multi component
order parameter and possible multiple superconducting transitions.
The competition between the local spin fluctuations and the spin
intersite coupling in d- and f-electron systems is the key to understand
their magnetic properties. Moreover, with the recent discovery
of materials having a small semiconducting-like gap (a few meV),
such as Ce3Bi4Pt3, RB6(rare-earth hexaboride), and FeSi, questions
have been raised related to the nature of the gap. Analogous
to a Kondo-Lattice material, these materials may show a large response
to magnetic fields, especially as the magnetic field becomes comparable
to the gap.