PhD project: Unconventional Superconductivity with 1/2 quantum vortices

Project description

Vortices are topologically protected stable structures. In type II superconductors they allow magentic flux to penetrate in multiples of the flux quantum. For a particular type of unconventional superconductor half-quantum vortices are possible. This requires odd-parity superconductivity that has an extra degree of freedom represented by a vector d that is free to rotate (physically the direction of d gives the direction along which the spin of the Cooper pairs in an odd parity superconducting state is zero). Such Vortices would have interesting quantum statistics that may be harnessed to build a quantum computer that is topologically protected from decoherence. The project will work on a new superconductor that potentially displays these states, albeit only under high-pressure. The high-pressure means that their half quantum nature cannot be detected by standard techniques such as small-angle neutron scattering or STM. The project will focus on novel method to probe the vortex spacing by looking at the voltages generated by the motion of the flux-line-lattice over a periodic potential.

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