Flexibility under pressure: measuring magnetic excitations in framework materials

Research Group: 
Centre for Condensed Matter and Material Physics
Number of Students: 
Length of Study in Years: 
Full-time Project: 
QM Scholarship
Project Description: 
The vast family of coordination framework materials has attracted enormous interest because of the many useful properties its members display and the ease with which the composition can be tuned to suit particular applications. Magnetism in this family is of interest for two reasons. On the one hand, these materials may find practical applications, such as in energy harvesting, data storage, sensors or transducers. On the other, they are often of fundamental interest since they may represent real-world exemplars of theoretically important exotic spin states. In either case, though, the structure alone is not sufficient to understand these materials’ behaviour. Their useful properties are dynamic, and to control them we need to understand the excitations. These are exactly what neutron spectroscopy experiments reveal.

In this project we will prepare coordination frameworks in our lab at QMUL and measure their magnetic properties using neutron diffraction and spectroscopy at ISIS. We will collect data both under ambient conditions and under applied pressure. The pressure measurements are important first as a direct guide to these materials’ structural properties; and second as a means to tune the distance and exchange pathways between magnetic sites and hence to tune the magnetic properties.

A recent publication: H. C. Walker, H. D. Duncan, M. D. Le, D. A. Keen, 
D. J. Voneshen, A. E. Phillips, Phys. Rev. B 2017, 96, 094423.
This project is suitable for students with a background in either physics or chemistry, or preferably both.
SPA Academics: 
Anthony Phillips