NWO Klein Grant for Alex Khajetoorians

Date of news: 8 January 2021

Alex Khajetoorians, researcher within the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM) of the Radboud University, has been awarded a NWO Klein Grant. NWO Klein is a funding instrument of the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (NWO) for small scale research projects with a question in or overlapping the fields of earth sciences, astronomy, chemistry, computer science, life sciences, physics and mathematics. “I’m very appreciative, as the KLEIN grant will give us the opportunity to investigate self-induced spin glasses, which we experimentally discovered together with Misha Katsnelson, and other collaborators”, Khajetoorians says.

Self‐induced spin glasses – a new state of matter

Khajetoorians, head of the Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) group, will study a newly proposed state of matter, the self-induced spin glass. It is a continuation of earlier research which was recently published in the Science, entitled “Self-induced spin glass state in elemental and crystalline neodymium (DOI: 10.1126/science.aay6757).” Together with Professor Misha Katsnelson from the Theory of Condensed Matter department, they will study the first example of a self-induced spin glass in the element neodymium. The ultimate goal is to unravel a 50‐year-old dilemma over the properties of neodymium and quantify its magnetic state in the context of a self-induced spin glass. “We want deeply understand what is the origin of its behavior is”, Khajetoorians explains. “We will also explore if it can be seen in other materials”, he adds.

The theoretical work will be done in Katsnelson’s group, and in collaboration with colleagues in Uppsala. The experimental work will be performed in the SPM lab, using state of the art scanning tunneling microscopes. The grant includes the employment of one PhD student for four years.

Scanning Probe Microscopy

Alex Khajetoorians is Professor in the Scanning Probe Microscopy group at Radboud University. The research in the group focuses on understanding new phases of matter, understanding how molecular interactions lead to macroscopic properties and studying structural, electronic and magnetic properties of surfaces. “Our group approaches numerous problems in physics and chemistry, utilizing innovating methods in scanning probe microscopy”, Khajetoorians says. “The ambitious goals of this project can only be done utilizing the unique facilities and expertise we have in Nijmegen.”

More information
NWO news article: https://www.nwo.nl/en/news/sixteen-innovative-research-projects-launched-through-science-klein]
Science publication DOI: 10.1126/science.aay6757

For more information, please contact
Alex Khajetoorians: a.khajetoorians@science.ru.nl
IMM Communications: imm-communication@ru.nl