Controlling magnetic ground states in frustrated magnets
A major challenge of quantum materials has been to tune relevant magnetic energy scales in order to affect new quantum ground states. This project will build on a series of recent findings in the Plumb lab that demonstrate the possibility for controlled tunability of magnetism  across a broad class of frustrated magnets. Employing lattice strain, magnetic fields, and dimensionality as tuning parameters, we will measure the evolution of magnetic ground states in model quantum materials using resonant x-ray scattering. Work will concentrate on three material systems. First, we will use lattice strain to explicitly break symmetries and resolve the nature of magnetic phase competition in an FCC antiferromagnet. Second, both magnetic fields and lattice strain will be used to control chiral magnetic textures in transition metal intercalated NbS2. Finally, we will elucidate the nature of the magnetically disordered in an exfoliated antiferromagnet using resonant inelastic x-ray scattering. Seed funding will be used to acquire essential instrumentation for carrying out low temperature x-ray scattering measurements under applied strain and to support a graduate student who will conduct the experiments. By helping to build new capabilities for controlling and measuring the quantum states in magnetic materials, funding through the SEED program will strengthen the quantum materials program at Brown.
PI: Kemp Plumb, Assistant Professor of Physics