Condensed Matter Sack Lunch Seminar

semester, 2018

Friday, January 19th 2018
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Evan Moen
Subject: Spin Transport in Superconducting Spin Valves

Friday, January 26th 2018
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Nicholas Lewellyn
Subject: Magnetic Field tuned superconductor-metal transition in InOx

Quantum phase transitions are an interesting topic in condensed matter physics that has been studied extensively. One example of a quantum phase transition is the superconductor-insulator transition in InOx. These transitions are typically studied using scaling analysis. In the case of a field tuned transition this starts with measuring various resistance versus field isotherms. The field at which the isotherms cross is taken as the critical field and used in the scaling analysis and to find the critical exponents. However, in some systems, such as one of our InOx thin films, there is not a single crossing, instead the crossing is smeared out resulting in a temperature dependent critical field and critical exponents. Detailed transport measurements of the superconductor-metal transition in this sample suggest that this temperature dependent behavior may be the result of a quantum Griffiths singularity. Similar behavior how been observed by other groups in different materials that also undergo superconductor-metal transitions.

Friday, February 2nd 2018
12:20 pm:
Speaker:  Zedong Yang, University of Minnesota
Subject: Towards spin injection into semiconductor nanowires

InSb nanowires have been established as a versatile materials platform for realizing Majorana bound states and for investigating spin-orbital interaction (SOI) and large effective g-factor. By coupling InSb nanowires to ferromagnetic (FM) contacts, a spin-polarized current can be injected into the nanowires and subsequently controlled by electric fields. We will report on our progress fabricating nanowire devices with FM electrodes in local spin-valve geometry, as well as discussing our low-temperature transport experiments on these devices.

Friday, February 9th 2018
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Xuzhe Ying, University of Minnesota
Subject: Topological Metals

I will discuss how to obtain a gapless phase from a topological gapped phase by breaking both time reversal and inversion symmetry. The specific model would be 2D p+ip chiral superconductor. 2D chiral superconductor belongs to symmetry class D with particle-hole symmetry and could support chiral Majorana. A supercurrent could break inversion symmetry and make system gapless. I'm going to discuss that particle-hole symmetry guarantees that there is a metallic phase which is distinct from trivial metal.

Friday, February 16th 2018
12:20 pm:
Speaker: Jianlong Fu
Subject: Majorana representations of spin and the Kitaev honeycomb model

Quantum spin liquid has been studied intensively in recent years. Among various types of spin liquid, the Kitaev model is unique because it is exactly solvable. Kitaev’s original solution is based on Majorana representation of spin. In this talk, I will discuss three types of Majorana representation of spin and argue that they can be linked together by Dirac spinor representation of SO(4) group. Then, I will discuss an alternative solution of the Kitaev model using another Majorana representation and talk about aspects of the solution.

Friday, February 23rd 2018
12:20 pm:
Speaker: James Delles, University of Minnesota
Subject: Thermally Activated Hopping over a Barrier in a Mesoscale Permalloy System

Thermally activated hopping between energy minima in a double well system is expected to follow an Arrhenius Law. Experiments have shown that the rate of switching between two wells is proportional to the Boltzmann factor but little work has been done to probe the nature of the characteristic dwell time. A square, permalloy, mesoscale dot with an applied magnetic field can be used to create a double well system to explore the characteristic dwell time. I will show that the characteristic dwell time has an exponential dependence on the height of the barrier. There is a significant quantitative disagreement between accepted models of the dwell time and our results.

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