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Revealing Quantum Magnetism at Oxide Interfaces via Diamond-Based nano-MRI

Dr Mete Atatüre (Atomic, Mesoscopic and Optical Physics) and Dr Jason Robinson (Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy)

This project aims to utilize a new magnetometry technique based on diamond spins in order to provide answers to the following open questions in the field of oxide interface magnetism: 

  • How does charge localization control spin-dependent interface symmetries, such as magnetism?
  • What is the origin of the magnetism and is it genuinely localised to the interface?
  • What is the characteristic length scale of the magnetic domains that form?

A direct understanding and a demonstrated control of the emergent phenomena at the oxide interfaces using a brand new diamond-based magnetic sensing will impact the current approach to manufacturing designer materials in transport and storage devices utilizing both charge and spin properties.

Project Completed May 2014

This project demonstrated that there is emergent magnetic ordering around 40 K above which the usual metallic nature of the interface electron gas is recovered. Below this critical temperature the NV centre spin was found to be coupled to the electron gas. The transition takes place within 1 K accuracy, which is the system resolution. Since the support of the Winton pump prime award, funds have been attracted from the Leverhulme Trust for a three-year project worth £250,000 funding two postdoctoral fellows and consumables to continue on the nano-MRI programme with oxide interface magnetism until May 2017.

Winton Annual Report 2016

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