Materials Synthesis and Characterization
Eric Bauer – Capability Leader
Our group is focused on preparing strongly correlated intermetallic and oxide materials in single and polycrystalline form. A particular emphasis is on molten-metal flux growth to synthesize single-crystalline heavy-fermion compounds. Utilizing this method, we are currently engaged in a vigorous investigation of the CeMIn5 (M=Co, Rh, Ir) heavy-fermion superconductors. These materials are well-suited for understanding the origin of the multitude of strongly correlated ground states easily accessed by pressure, chemical substitution, and magnetic field, such as pressure-induced unconventional superconductivity, quantum criticality, magnetic-field induced magnetism, and the coexistence of magnetism and superconductivity.
In addition to the CeMIn5 compounds, another emphasis is “new physics through new materials.” A directed new materials effort seeks to discover novel strongly correlated ground states in various Ce, Yb, U, and Pu-based compounds. These elements sit at the boundary of a valence instability and/or localized/itinerant f-electron crossover and, hence, materials containing these elements most often exhibit highly correlated electron ground states.
Our current capabilities include: a variety of box and tube furnaces capable of reaching up to 1700oC, glass encapsulation, arc-melter and tri-arc melter for poly- and single-crystal growth, various Czochralski and optical floating zone furnaces and induction furnaces in collaboration with Ken McClellan (MST-8), a powder x-ray diffraction machine, and a Laue diffraction machine.
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory/NHMFL
Low Energy Spectroscopy