Special seminar: Tuning layered superconductors with strain

Monday 6 May 2024, 2 pm

Quantum materials with strong electronic interactions and tendencies to order at elevated temperatures commonly share a layered structure and two-dimensional electronic state. High-temperature superconductors are arguably the most celebrated of these systems, but many others share similar characteristics. Popular avenues to tailor the properties of these materials include doping, exfoliation or the application of pressure or strain. However, in all of these methods, the role played by the interlayer coupling is overlooked. As the exotic properties of layered superconductors are deeply linked to their dimensionality, it is necessary to tune the interlayer distance in a controlled and systematic fashion in order to understand and ultimately optimize superconductivity.

In this talk, I will present a new technique capable of locally applying strain along any direction, including out-of-plane, through differences in thermal contraction between sample and substrate, combined with careful microstructuring. I will present past results on a heavy fermion superconductor and describe current work to control the interlayer distance of the unconventional layered superconductor FeSe.  Finally, I will close the talk with an overview of future plans to employ this technique at HFML-FELIX.

Maarten van Delft