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Oxide Interfaces

This project with Dr Atature (Cavendish) combines two radically different materials and fields of research, namely oxide interfaces and diamond nanocrystal magnetic resonance imaging (diamond nano-MRI) in order to reveal the exact nature of low-dimensional magnetic phenomena with nanometre spatial resolution and single-spin level sensitivity. Coherent control protocols developed for isolated and confined spins in diamond are used to detect faint magnetic fields due to spin ordering near, or at ,the oxide interfaces. This level of investigation surpasses all previous measurements to-date in terms of spatial resolution or degree of sensitivity. The aim is to exploit this sensitivity to answer a wide range of open questions in novel magnetism over a wide range of temperatures.

 

Interface magnetism is a rapidly developing area. The most topical example in oxides is found at the LaAlO3/SrTiO3 (LAO/STO) interface (the system we are mainly working with). Here interface charge transfer results in a two‐dimensional electron gas (2-DEG) in the STO side of the interface. Nevertheless,  the origin of the different spin symmetries at exist at the interface remains controversial due to the competing influence of oxygen defects and the unexplained role of interfacial dopants in suppressing carrier density. This means that the exact localisation of symmetry states to the interface remains to be one of the most debated problems in the field.

 

The aim of this project is to resolve the long-standing debate of where the magnetism in LAO/STO and LMO/SMO originates by mapping the spatial extent of the magnetism around the interface with a nanometer-scale resolution using diamond nano-MRI. Furthermore, we aim to demonstrate that diamond-based Nano-MRI is versatile tool for probing spin physics at interfaces.

 

This research programme is a collaboration with Dr Chris Bell at SLAC, Stanford, USA.

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We have shown that certain superconductors – materials that carry electrical current with zero resistance at very low temperatures – can also carry currents of ‘spin’. The successful combination of superconductivity and spin could lead to a revolution in high-performance computing, by dramatically reducing energy consumption.

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Group's work on superconducting graphene on an oxide high temperature superconductor noted in the Financial Times

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Oct 28, 2017

Focused article - Electron Manifesto - on group's work on superconducting spintronics in Research Horizons, the University of Cambridge’s research magazine.

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Aug 18, 2017

Electron ‘spin’ could hold the key to managing the world’s growing data demands without consuming huge amounts of energy. Now, researchers have shown that energy-efficient superconductors can power devices designed to achieve this. What once seemed an impossible marriage of superconductivity and spin may be about to transform high performance computing.

EPSRC-JSPS Core-to-Core

Apr 09, 2017

Awarded 5-year EPSRC-JSPS Core-to-Core Grant on "International network to explore novel superconductivity at advanced oxide superconductor/magnet interfaces and in nanodevices"

Graphene’s sleeping superconductivity awakens

Jan 25, 2017

Researchers have found a way to trigger the innate, but previously hidden, ability of graphene to act as a superconductor.

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"The Oxford Handbook of Small Superconductors", Oxford University Press, is published (19 January)

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A Cambridge-led project aiming to develop a new architecture for future computing based on superconducting spintronics - technology designed to increase the energy-efficiency of high-performance computers and data storage - has been announced.

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Smaller, faster, cheaper - that was the trend in computing for the past 50 years. As microprocessor technology is hitting the limits of what’s physically possible, some researchers are exploring whether a new technology, ‘spintronics’, may be the way forward.

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