Our research focuses on emergent phenomena in correlated electronic materials. We focus on the synthesis (i.e. crystal growth) and characterization, via neutron scattering, of strongly interacting magnetic materials. A particularly exciting goal of this research is to realize what is known as the Quantum Spin Liquid state, where magnetic moments dance together in an entangled, correlated, but ultimately disordered and dynamic way.
Crystals with magnetic degrees of freedom offer enormous diversity of emergent phenomena arising from simple near-neighbor interactions in a vast group of magnetic ions (~1023 of them!). Dynamics ranging from “classical” spin waves that propagate a spin flip through an array of aligned moments, to emergent photon-like excitations that mimic electrodynamics, can be created, probed, and understood in this environment.
New Capabilities Coming Online
Our group is developing a home-built resonant ultrasound spectroscopy (RUS) insert for the PPMS that will operate at fields up to H=9T and temperatures down to T=2K, with help from Prof. Leisure (CSU) and the Ultrasound group lead by Albert Migliori (Los Alamos National Lab). We successfully acquired our first low temperature RUS spectrum in Jan 2018 and look forward to using this new tool.
Gavin and Danielle attended a polarized neutron spectroscopy workshop hosted by Oak Ridge National Lab.
Ross lab attended FRAMS 2019 where Kate gave an invited talk.
Danielle wins award for outstanding student presentation at APS 4CS meeting.
Gavin wins best poster award at the 5th Front Range Advanced Magnetics Symposium. Photo credit: Ron Goldfarb
Recently published in Physical Review Letters: The quantum dimer magnet (QDM) is the canonical example of “quantum magnetism”. We report our single crystal neutron diffraction, specific heat, and ultrasound velocity work on a new QDM in the strongly spin-orbit coupled, distorted honeycomb-lattice material Yb2Si2O7. These measurements reveal a gapped singlet zero field ground state with sharp, dispersive excitations. We find a field-induced magnetically ordered phase reminiscent of a BEC phase, with exceptionally low critical fields of Hc1 ~0.4 T and Hc2 ~1.4 T. These results raise the question of how anisotropy in strongly spin-orbit coupled materials modifies the field induced phases of…
Recently published in Physical Review B: The magnetic honeycomb lattice with competing interactions can give rise to unconventional quantum phases. We present observations of highly frustrated quasi two-dimensional (2D) magnetic correlations in the honeycomb lattice layers of the Seff = 1/2 compound BaCo2(PO4)2. Specific heat lacks a sharp anomaly down to 2K although all spin entropy is recovered, indicating the absence of a transition to long range order in this material. However, ac susceptibility shows that spins do not freeze into a spin-glass like state. The spin correlations measured by neutron powder diffraction reveal short range quasi-2D order with…
We have investigated the effect of magnetic dilution (substituting Ga for Fe) on the partially ordered helical antiferromagnetic ground state of Fe3PO4O3. The helical state in this compound is known to form in needle-like domains, with short range correlations in the ab plane. Our most recent results, published in PRB, show that the helical pitch length and the ab plane correlation length are intrinsically related to each other – the pitch length appears to set the size of the correlations in the ab plane. This is reminiscent of Skyrmions, whose size is set by the helical pitch length.
- Nov. 2019: Gavin’s work on Yb2Si2O7 was featured in a Physics Buzz article titled “The New Playground of an Unexpected Bose-Einstein Condensate.” Check it out!
- Oct. 2019: Kate won the CSU College of Natural Sciences Early Career Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching award! Congrats Kate!
- Oct. 2019: Gavin, Danielle, John, and Daniel attended the 2019 APS Four Corners Section Meeting. Gavin gave an invited talk as a finalist for the Harry Lustig award, and Danielle won a prize for an outstanding student presentation.
- Sep. 2019: Gavin and Danielle attend the Polarized Neutron Diffraction and Spectroscopy: Applications to Quantum Materials Workshop at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
- Sep. 2019: Theo Wecker joins the group as a graduate researcher. Welcome Theo!
- Aug. 2019: Ross lab attends the 5th Front Range Advanced Magnetics Symposium in Boulder, CO where Kate gave an invited talk and Gavin won a best poster award for his work on Yb2Si2O7.
- Jul. 2019: Danielle attends the 25th CHRNS Summer School on Methods and Applications of Neutron Spectroscopy.
- Jun. 2019: Gavin wins a best presentation award at the 6th annual PRSE Magnetics Workshop held at CSU for his work on a new quantum dimer magnet Yb2Si2O7.
- Apr. 2019: The iQuantum He3 insert was installed on the Quantum Design MPMS XL.
- Mar. 2019: Daniel Shaw joins the group as a graduate researcher and Steffen Säubert joins as a postdoctoral researcher. Welcome Daniel and Steffen!
- Jan. 2019: Danielle wins a best poster prize award at the NHMFL 2019 Spring Theory Winter School for her work on Er2Sn2O7.