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Condensed Matter Physics Research

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Last modified 25-Oct-97.


Copyright ©1997
Dr. Abebe Kebede. All Rights Reserved.



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.

High-Tc superconductors

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.

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