Scientific Highlights from Research Division
Research with Neutrons and Muons (NUM)
Built at Paul Scherrer Institute, the detector forms the heart of the CMS experiment. It is producing data again following an upgrade during the LHC shutdown.
Pressure, together with temperature, electric, and magnetic fields, alters the system and allows for the investigation of the fundamental prop- erties of matter. Under applied pressure, the interatomic distances shrink, which modifies the interactions between atoms and may lead to the appearance of new (sometimes exotic) physical properties, such as pressure-induced phase transitions; quantum critical points; new structural, magnetic, and/or superconducting states; and changes of the temperature evolution and symmetry of the order parameters...
PSI electronics technician Mario Liechti comes in second place at the world championships for non-academic professions.
Spinons are well-known as the elementary excitations of one-dimensional antiferromagnetic chains, but means to realize spinons in higher dimensions is the subject of intense research. Here, we use resonant x-ray scattering to study the layered trimer iridate Ba4Ir3O10, which shows no magnetic order down to 0.2 K. An emergent one-dimensional spinon continuum is observed that can be well-described by XXZ spin-1/2 chains with magnetic exchange of ∼55 meV and a small Ising-like anisotropy. With 2% isovalent Sr doping ...
Neutron scattering reveals rich magnetic topology in the magnetic equivalent of graphene.
Many complex metals exhibit collective states in which electrons appear to collaborate to generate novel and frequently functional behavior. These states develop when metals are cooled down to remove the effects of thermal fluctuations, enabling collective states in which electrons move coherently through the material. These collective electronic states are of tremendous importance because they are the foundation for many quantum states of interest such as unconventional superconductivity, frustrated magnetism, hidden order, as well as topologically non-trivial and electronic-nematic states.
Kagome materials often host exotic quantum phases, including spin liquids, Chern gap, charge density wave, and superconductivity. Existing scanning microscopy studies of the kagome charge order have been limited to nonkagome surface layers. Here, we tunnel into the kagome lattice of FeGe to uncover features of the charge order. Our spectroscopic imaging identifies a 2 × 2 charge order in the magnetic kagome lattice, resembling that discovered in kagome superconductors. Spin mapping across steps of unit cell height demonstrates the existence of spin-polarized electrons with an antiferromagnetic stacking order.
Two types of charge order with distinct interplay with superconductivity in the kagome material CsV3Sb5
The kagome metals of the family AV3Sb5, featuring a unique structural motif, harbor an array of intriguing phenomena such as chiral charge order and superconductivity. CsV3Sb5 is of particular interest because it displays a double superconducting dome in the region of the temperature-pressure phase diagram where charge order is still present. However, the microscopic origin of such an unusual behavior remains an unsolved issue. Here, to address it, we combine high-pressure, low-temperature muon spin relaxation/rotation with first-principles calculations. We observe ....
SwissSkills names PSI electronics technician Melvin Deubelbeiss the best apprenticeship graduate in his field.
Crossover of high-energy spin fluctuations from collective triplons to localized magnetic excitations in Sr14−xCaxCu24O41 ladder
We studied the magnetic excitations in the quasi-one-dimensional (q-1D) ladder subsystem of Sr14−xCaxCu24O41 (SCCO) using Cu L3-edge resonant inelastic X-ray scattering (RIXS). By comparing momentum-resolved RIXS spectra with high (x = 12.2) and without (x = 0) Ca content, we track the evolution of the magnetic excitations from collective two-triplon (2 T) excitations (x = 0) to weakly- dispersive gapped modes at an energy of 280 meV (x = 12.2)...
Insights from the Swiss Muon Source, Swiss Spallation Neutron Source and Swiss Light Source reveal this coveted characteristic in an exotic layered material.
We report on the first example of quantum coherence between the spins of muons and quadrupolar nuclei. We reveal that these entangled states are highly sensitive to a local charge environment and thus, can be deployed as a functional quantum sensor of that environment. The quantum coherence effect was observed in vanadium intermetallic compounds which adopt the A15 crystal structure, and whose members include all technologically pertinent superconductors. Furthermore ...
We report an excellent realization of the highly nonclassical incommensurate spin-density wave (SDW) state in the quantum frustrated antiferromagnetic insulator Cs2CoBr4. In contrast to the well-known Ising spin chain case, here the SDW is stabilized by virtue of competing planar in-chain anisotropies and frustrated interchain exchange.
Through role models and networking, the first “Women in Physics Career Symposium” helps early career researchers stay in physics
The van-der-Waals material CrSBr stands out as a promising two-dimensional magnet. Here, we report on its detailed magnetic and structural character- istics. We evidence that it undergoes a transition to an A-type anti- ferromagnetic state below TN ≈ 140 K with a pronounced two-dimensional character, preceded by ferromagnetic correlations within the monolayers. Furthermore, we unravel the low-temperature hidden-order within the long- range magnetically-ordered state. We find that it is associated to a slowing down of the magnetic fluctuations, accompanied by a continuous reorienta- tion of the internal field.
Waves of magnetic excitation sweep through this new material whether in superconducting mode or not – another clue to the mystery of loss-less electric currents.
Topological magnon insulators constitute a growing field of research for their potential use as information carriers without heat dissipation. We report an experimental and theoretical study of the magnetic ground-state and excitations in the van der Waals two-dimensional honeycomb magnet ErBr3. We show that the magnetic properties of this compound are entirely governed by the dipolar interactions which generate a continuously degenerate non-collinear ground-state on the honeycomb lattice with spins confined in the plane.
In the cuprates, high-temperature superconductivity, spin-density-wave order, and charge-density-wave (CDW) order are intertwined, and symmetry determination is challenging due to domain formation. We investigated the CDW in the prototypical cuprate La1.88Sr0.12CuO4 via x-ray diffraction employing uniaxial pressure as a domain-selective stimulus to establish the unidirectional nature of the CDW unambiguously.
Magnetic topological phases of quantum matter are an emerging frontier in physics and materials science, of which kagome magnets appear as a highly promising platform. Here, we explore magnetic correlations in the recently identified topological kagome system TbMn6Sn6 using muon spin rotation, combined with local field analysis and neutron diffraction. Our studies identify an out-of-plane ferrimagnetic structure with slow magnetic fluctuations which exhibit a critical slowing down below T*C1 ≃ 120 K and finally freeze into static patches with ideal out-of-plane order below TC1 ≃ 20 K....
Microscopic evidence for anisotropic multigap superconductivity in the CsV3Sb5 kagome superconductor
The recently discovered kagome superconductor CsV3Sb5 (Tc ≃ 2.5 K) has been found to host charge order as well as a non-trivial band topology, encompassing multiple Dirac points and probable surface states. Such a complex and phenomenologically rich system is, therefore, an ideal playground for observing unusual electronic phases. Here, we report anisotropic superconducting properties of CsV3Sb5 by means of transverse-field muon spin rotation (μSR) experiments.