Scientific Highlights from Research Division
Research with Neutrons and Muons (NUM)
We report a new measurement of the n=2 Lamb shift in Muonium. Our result of 1047.2(2.3)stat(1.1)syst MHz comprises an order of magnitude improvement upon the previous best measurement. This value matches ...
PSI scientists help construct the new European Spallation Source ESS
Alzheimers disease is one of the major global health challenges. Neuronal cell dysfunction and death are connected to the self-assembly of the amyloid β peptide (Aβ42) into oligomeric and fibrillar aggregates. The fibril surface can catalyze the formation of toxic oligomers via secondary nucleation.
Emergence of spin-orbit coupled ferromagnetic surface state derived from Zak phase in a nonmagnetic insulator FeSi
FeSi is a nonmagnetic narrow-gap insulator, exhibiting peculiar charge and spin dynamics beyond a simple band structure picture. Those unusual features have been attracting renewed attention from topological aspects. Although the surface conduction was demonstrated according to size-dependent resistivity in bulk crystals, its topological characteristics and consequent electromagnetic responses remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate ...
Unconventional Pressure Dependence of the Superfluid Density in the Nodeless Topological Superconductor α-PdBi2
We investigated the superconducting properties of the topological superconductor α-PdBi2 at ambient and external pressures up to 1.77 GPa using muon spin rotation experiments. The ambient pressure measurements evince a fully gapped s-wave superconducting state in the bulk of the specimen. Alternating current magnetic susceptibility and muon spin rotation measurements manifest a continuous suppression of Tc with increasing pressure.
CrI3 has raised as an important system to the emergent field of two-dimensional van der Waals magnetic materials. However, it is still unclear why CrI3 which has a ferromagnetic rhombohedral structure in bulk, changed to anti-ferromagnetic monoclinic at thin layers. Here we show that this behaviour is due to the coexistence of both monoclinic and rhombohedral crystal phases followed by three magnetic transitions at TC1 = 61 K, TC2 = 50 K and TC3 = 25 K.
Quantum spin liquids are exotic states of matter that form when strongly frustrated magnetic interactions induce a highly entangled quantum paramagnet far below the energy scale of the magnetic interactions. Three-dimensional cases are especially challenging due to the significant reduction of the influence of quantum fluctuations. Here, we report the magnetic characterization of K2Ni2(SO4)3 forming a three-dimensional network of Ni2+ spins.
Materials with strongly correlated electrons often exhibit interesting physical properties. An example of these materials is the layered oxide perovskite Sr2RuO4, which has been intensively investigated due to its unusual properties. Whilst the debate on the symmetry of the superconducting state in Sr2RuO4 is still ongoing, a deeper understanding of the Sr2RuO4 normal state appears crucial as this is the background in which electron pairing occurs. Here, by using low-energy muon spin spectroscopy we discover the existence of surface magnetism in Sr2RuO4 in its normal state.
A specialSciPost volume, entitled “Review of Particle Physics at PSI”, has recently been completed.
The European Spallation Source (ESS) is currently under construction in Lund, Sweden and is set to become the most powerful neutron source in Europe and world-wide. The PSI-ESS project is delivering state-of-the-art contributions to five instruments at ESS, which will be home to a suite of 15 novel instruments. Among the five PSI instruments, the reflectometer ESTIA stands out as it is delivered in its entirety by PSI ...
The crystal structure and magnetic correlations in triangular antiferromagnet FeGa2S4 are studied by x-ray diffraction, magnetic susceptibility, neutron diffraction, and neutron inelastic scattering. We report significant mixing at the cation sites and disentangle magnetic properties dominated by major and minor magnetic sites.
GeTe that exhibits a strong anharmonicity and a ferroelectric phase transition between the rhombohedral and cubic structures has emerged as one of the leading thermoelectric materials. Herein, combining molecular dynamics simulations and inelastic neutron scattering measurements, the lattice dynamics in GeTe have been investigated to reveal the soft-mode mechanisms across the phase transition.
Magnetic anisotropy is anticipated to govern the formation of exotic spin textures reported recently in cubic chiral magnets, like low-temperature tilted conical and skyrmion lattice (SkL) states and metastable SkLs with various lattice geometry. Motivated by these findings, we quantified the cubic anisotropy in a series of CoZnMn-type cubic chiral magnets. We found that the strength of anisotropy is highly enhanced towards low temperatures. Moreover, not only the magnitude but also the character of cubic anisotropy drastically varies upon changing the Co/Mn ratio.
Unsplit superconducting and time reversal symmetry breaking transitions in Sr2RuO4 under hydrostatic pressure and disorder
There is considerable evidence that the superconducting state of Sr2RuO4 breaks time reversal symmetry. In the experiments showing time reversal symmetry breaking, its onset temperature, TTRSB, is generally found to match the critical temperature, Tc, within resolution. In combination with evidence for even parity, this result has led to consideration of a dxz ± idyz order parameter.
At PSI, researchers come across exotic phenomena such as frustrated magnets and nano-vortices, which may one day enable better data storage.
CeRh2As2, a nonsymmorphic heavy fermion material, was recently reported to host a remarkable temperature versus z-axis magnetic-field phase diagram with two superconducting phases. In this material, the two inequivalent Ce sites per unit cell, related by inversion symmetry, introduce a sublattice structure corresponding to an extra internal degree of freedom. In this work, we propose a classification of the possible superconducting states in CeRh2As2 from the two Ce-sites' perspective.
RENiO3 Single Crystals (RE = Nd, Sm, Gd, Dy, Y, Ho, Er, Lu) Grown from Molten Salts under 2000 bar of Oxygen Gas Pressure
Schematic representation of the method used to grow RENiO3 nickelate single crystals covering the full 4f series and Y. This novel procedure, based on the use of moderate oxygen gas pressures (2000 bar), solvothermal growth in a temperature gradient, and highly reactive eutectic salt mixtures as fluxes, yields prismatic-shaped crystals with flat facets and sizes up to ∼75 μm.
The Kitaev quantum spin liquid epitomizes an entangled topological state, for which twoflavors of fractionalized low-energy excitations are predicted: the itinerant Majorana fermion and the Z2 gauge flux. It was proposed recently that fingerprints of fractional excitations are encoded in the phonon spectra of Kitaev quantum spin liquids through a novel fractional- excitation-phonon coupling. Here, we detect anomalous phonon effects in α-RuCl3 using inelastic X-ray scattering with meV resolution.
Intertwining quantum order and non-trivial topology is at the frontier of condensed matter physics. A charge- density-wave-like order with orbital currents has been pro- posed for achieving the quantum anomalous Hall effect in topological materials and for the hidden phase in cuprate high-temperature superconductors. However, the experimental realization of such an order is challenging. Here we use high-resolution scanning tunnelling microscopy to discover an unconventional chiral charge order in a kagome material, KV3Sb5, with both a topological band structure and a superconducting ground state.