PhD project: Listening to quantum criticality
Ultra-sound is a powerful directional probe for understanding magnetic phase transitions and exploring non-conventional superconductivity. The project will develop and use this technique to gain insight into the mechanism responsible for unconventional superconductivity in UGe2 and similar materials. UGe2 is both ferromagentic and superconducting, a state requiring parallel spins to be paired.
Both the sound velocity and attenuation give information about the magnetic and electronic degrees of freedom. The technique is also well suited for use in pressure cells, needed to tune materials to the conditions where non-conventional superconductivity and other states emerge (at 1.2 GPa for UGe2). We have made ultrasound measurements up to 1.5 GPa and down to 2 K in high magnetic field to study a mysterious pressure induced magnetic transition that changes dramatically with pressure as the conditions for superconductivity are approached. The PhD project would extend this work to use our dilution refrigerator to study the superconducting phase in UGe2 at lower temperture. A prototype apparatus with an indentor cell allowing measurements on other systems requiring higher pressures would also be developed. The project offers the opportunity to work with state of the art instrument development and pressure cells to discover what drives superconductivity in ferromagentic superconductors.
The project supervisors welcome informal enquiries about this project.
Find out more about this research area
The links below summarise our research in the area(s) relevant to this project:
- Find out more about Quantum Ordering.
- Find out more about the Institute for Condensed Matter and Complex Systems.
- Find out how to apply for our PhD degrees.
- Find out about fees and funding and studentship opportunities.
- View and complete the application form (on the main University website).
- Find out how to contact us for more information.