Novel Materials as the Driver of New Science

by Dr Amir A. Haghighirad (Institute for Solid State Physics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)

109 (25b)



Quantum materials (QM) are systems in which electronic interactions or topological properties lead to complex and unexpected phenomena that require quantum mechanical descriptions beyond the electronic ‘standard model’. QMs showcase tangible manifestations of some of the most fundamental concepts in quantum physics, at a scale realizable in a research laboratory and amenable for detailed experimental exploration and manipulation. Studying such systems is important from a fundamental standpoint, but has also the potential to provide the basis for a new generation of profoundly transformative technologies, multifunctional devices and new information processing and storage. An important element of my talk will encompass the rational design and growth of materials enabling us to study the phenomena of interest under well-controlled conditions. We have a firmly established growth programme for novel high-quality quantum materials using Czochralski-technique, the optical floating zone technique, chemical vapour transport, crystallisation by flux and the Bridgman-Stockbarger method. Prominent examples and classes of materials include magnetically frustrated systems (e.g. pyrochlore oxides), pnictide superconductors and systems with strong spin-orbit interaction like layered honeycomb iridates. With my combined expertise in advanced crystal growth and materials characterisation, I have been able to establish a cutting-edge crystal growth and characterisation programme. Finally I will discuss new opportunities and new directions that could arise from the expansion into functional materials especially suitable for optoelectronic and photovoltaic applications.