PhD project: Experimental and Theoretical Investigation of Spatially Modulated Magnetic Phases Near to Quantum Criticality

Project description

This project will build on the discovery of complex modulated magentic states in PrPtAl (see recent paper by Abdul-Jabbar et al ) and other materials we are working on. It will explore the phase diagram as a function of applied magentic field to try and unravel why complex magnetic states form on the edge of ferromagentism. The project will involve some crystal growth and low temperature mesurements, but the focus is on perfomring and analysing neutron scattering and X-ray synchrotron measurements. Both elastic and inealstic measurements will be made at a number of facilities; ILL/ESRF (Grenoble), ISIS/Dimaond (Oxford, see picture), NIST (Washington), PSI (Basel), FRM2 (Munich), LLB (Paris) have all been used recently. The aim is to establish definitive magentic structures and by studying the low energy excitations to understand what brings these about. There is also scope to work on the theory of order by disorder (see refs [1]-[3]) in collaboration with Andrew Green and Frank Kruger (UCL) as a major part of this project. 

[1] A. M. Berridge, A. G. Green, S. A. Grigera and B. D. Simons A Magnetic Analogue of the of the FFLO state: Inhomogeneous Instabilities Near to Tricritical Points, Physical Review Letters 102, 149903 (2009).

[2] G. J. Conduit, A. G. Green, and B. D. Simons, Inhomogeneous phase formation on the border of itinerant ferromagnetism, Physical Review Letters 103, 207201 (2009) [spotlighted in Physics 2, 93 (2009)]

[3] J. Rech C.Pépin, V.Chubukov, "Quantum critical behaviour in intinerant electron systems: Eliashberg theory and instability of a ferromagentic quantum critical point", Phys Rev B 74 195126 (2006)

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