Tuning the phase diagrams of novel superconducting materials

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Oxford Physics

Abstract

Novel superconducting materials are an unexpectedly rich playground to explore novel phenomena and properties in order to identify the key parameters which make them good candidates for future practical applications. This not only involves finding materials with high transition temperatures but also those with the highest critical current densities. The aim of this project is to characterize the superconducting phase diagram as a function of temperature, magnetic fields and external strain in single crystals, powder and thin films of superconducting materials. The project will be part of the recently funded Oxford Centre for Applied Superconductivity (CfAS) which links together the superconductivity research in the Departments of Physics and Materials with the local companies that utilise superconductivity in applications, such as Oxford Instruments and Siemens Magnet Technology. Experiments using advanced techniques for transport and thermodynamic measurements will be performed using high magnetic field facilities available in Oxford and elsewhere. The experimental data will be complemented by theoretical modelling and the project will involve further development of advanced experimental techniques.
The research will fall within the "Physical Sciences" EPSRC theme and the "Superconductivity" EPSRC research area. CfAS is funded by the Local Enterprise Partnership with contributions from the University of Oxford and local industrial partners.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509711/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1734263 Studentship EP/N509711/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2019 Matthew James Bristow
 
Description We have built the superconducting phase diagrams of a number of unconventional iron-based superconductors. Perhaps most importantly, we have published work on a new material that we have found to have the highest critical current density of any known superconductor, which is a key property for practical applications.
We have also built the upper-critical magnetic field phase-diagrams of a number of materials. This is another important property for applications, as well as providing details about the superconducting state in these materials.
Other important studies (currently in preparation) detail the electronic structure of the iron-based superconductors that we are studying. Understanding the state(s) from which superconductivity emerges is important in understanding it.
Exploitation Route Development of superconducting wires and other technologies.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Energy,Healthcare,Transport

 
Description APS March meeting talk (2019) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I gave a talk on some of the research I have been performing at the APS March meeting in Boston. The talk created interest from the audience, and formed the basis of many conversations afterwards between myself and other people that work on similar materials.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR19/Session/R10.11
 
Description Bristol IOP Frontiers in Condensed Matter Physics Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I gave a talk at a specialist conference in Bristol to an audience of ~150 people.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.frontiers-cmp.org/abstracts
 
Description Outreach 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We have performed a number of outreach activities that I have been involved in. These include open days in the department, visits to/from schools, women in physics events and public engagement work. School visits tend to consist of groups of 30+ students. Open days and public engagement work tends to attract a few hundred people to each event. My role in this is usually to talk to people about superconductors - tell them what they are, why they are useful etc. This always involves a demonstrating of out levitating train. These events always spark interest from the general public and academics working in different fields. People are always keen to learn more, and find out how we can make superconductors levitate!
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018,2019
 
Description Oxford Symposium on Quantum Materials 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I gave a talk on our research on the superconducting properties of a new iron-based superconductor that we have been working on to a group of ~100+ specialists in the field. This raised awareness of our work and other members of the audience show a keen interest in working on this material as well.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www2.physics.ox.ac.uk/research/quantum-materials/group-activities/oxford-symposium-on-quantu...