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Physics Colloquium

X-ray Vision of Spins, Charges and Orbitals in Quantum Materials

Presented by Mark P.M. Dean of Brookhaven National Laboratory


The electrons in traditional metals and semiconductors tend to drift through the lattice as independent, non-interacting particles. Theories based on this behavior successfully explain many materials and form the bedrock of the transistor and computers. Quantum materials is a catch all term for systems in which strong interactions between the charge, spin and orbital degrees of freedom of the electrons cause these rules to break down yielding magnetism, superconductivity or other types of novel order. Probing how this happens is, however, often challenging. In this talk, I will describe a novel x-ray technique called resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS) and how it can be used to probe the behavior of electrons in quantum materials with outstanding sensitivity.

We will show how RIXS can observe the spontaneous ordering of the electrons in copper oxide superconductors, quantify the modification of electronic orbitals within heterostructures and track changes in magnetism in ultra-fast transient states.

Monday, April 16, 2018 at 3:30pm

Science and Engineering Research Facility (SERF), 307
1414 Circle Dr, Knoxville, TN 37996



Physics and Astronomy

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