Project description

Subject: Physics.

The quantum materials characterization group at Stockholm University invites applications for a fully funded PhD student position towards thermodynamic studies of quasicrystals under high pressure at low temperature. The applied position is tied to the project Functional Quasicrystals? – Harnessing the complexity of aperiodic intermetallic compounds (FuncQC) supported by the Knut & Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The PhD project is exploratory, focused on low-temperature material characterization of quasicrystals with functional electronic and magnetic properties.

There is an ever-growing demand for functional materials to build novel or optimized applications and devices, yielding worldwide fundamental and applied research efforts. Strongly correlated materials are systems in which electrons do not behave as independent free particles, but interact strongly, generating complex phenomena that cannot be explained by the conventional theories of metals and insulators. Such systems include, among many others, high-Tc superconductors, heavy fermions and different kinds of magnetic systems. The aperiodic structure of quasicrystals adds a complication to the electronic behavior or correlated materials. A multi-facetted experimental characterization of such compounds is essential in order to draw solid conclusions about their behavior.

Within this research project, the PhD student will work on building up a high-pressure specific heat setup and apply it to study the electronic properties of small quasicrystals at low temperatures. The setup will integrate nanocalorimetry and high-pressure diamond anvil cell technology into a dilution refrigerator with a 12 T magnet and optical access. The high-pressure characterization will be complemented with ambient-pressure measurements of low-temperature electronic specific heat as a function of temperature, magnetic field and magnetic field direction, measurements that can provide important bulk information on the studied systems.

The candidate should have a strong interest in condensed matter physics, experimental measurements and measurement techniques, optics, and low-temperature physics. The project activities will be carried out at AlbaNova, in close collaboration within the FuncQC project, including researchers at the chemistry department at Stockholm University, the Departments of Chemistry and Geosciences at Uppsala University, the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), the European Spallation Source (ESS) in Lund, and abroad.


Ref. No. SU FV-2871-19

Closing date: 29 September 2019

Complete information here.