Publications


Magnetic order and enhanced exchange in the quasi-one-dimensional molecule-based antiferromagnet Cu(NO3)2(pyz)3.

Physical chemistry chemical physics : PCCP 21 (2019) 1014-1018

BM Huddart, J Brambleby, T Lancaster, PA Goddard, F Xiao, SJ Blundell, FL Pratt, J Singleton, P Macchi, R Scatena, AM Barton, JL Manson

The quasi-one-dimensional molecule-based Heisenberg antiferromagnet Cu(NO3)2(pyz)3 has an intrachain coupling J = 13.7(1) K () and exhibits a state of long-range magnetic order below TN = 0.105(1) K. The ratio of interchain to intrachain coupling is estimated to be |J'/J| = 3.3 × 10-3, demonstrating a high degree of isolation for the Cu chains.


Local magnetism, magnetic order and spin freezing in the 'nonmetallic metal' FeCrAs.

Journal of physics. Condensed matter : an Institute of Physics journal 31 (2019) 285803-285803

BM Huddart, MT Birch, FL Pratt, SJ Blundell, DG Porter, SJ Clark, W Wu, SR Julian, PD Hatton, T Lancaster

We present the results of x-ray scattering and muon-spin relaxation ([Formula: see text]SR) measurements on the iron-pnictide compound FeCrAs. Polarized non-resonant magnetic x-ray scattering results reveal the 120° periodicity expected from the suggested three-fold symmetric, non-collinear antiferromagnetic structure. [Formula: see text]SR measurements indicate a magnetically ordered phase throughout the bulk of the material below [Formula: see text] K. There are signs of fluctuating magnetism in a narrow range of temperatures above [Formula: see text] involving low-energy excitations, while at temperatures well below [Formula: see text] behaviour characteristic of freezing of dynamics is observed, likely reflecting the effect of disorder in our polycrystalline sample. Using density functional theory we propose a distinct muon stopping site in this compound and assess the degree of distortion induced by the implanted muon.


Spin dynamics and field-induced magnetic phase transition in the honeycomb Kitaev magnet alpha-Li2IrO3

PHYSICAL REVIEW B 99 (2019) ARTN 054426

S Choi, S Manni, J Singleton, CV Topping, T Lancaster, SJ Blundell, DT Adroja, V Zapf, P Gegenwart, R Coldea


A.C. susceptibility as a probe of low-frequency magnetic dynamics.

Journal of physics. Condensed matter : an Institute of Physics journal 31 (2018) 013001-

CV Topping, SJ Blundell

The experimental technique of a.c. susceptibility can be used as a probe of magnetic dynamics in a wide variety of systems. Its use is restricted to the low-frequency regime and thus is sensitive to relatively slow processes. Rather than measuring the dynamics of single spins, a.c. susceptibility can be used to probe the dynamics of collective objects, such as domain walls in ferromagnets or vortex matter in superconductors. In some frustrated systems, such as spin glasses, the complex interactions lead to substantial spectral weight of fluctuations in the low-frequency regime, and thus a.c. susceptibility can play a unique role. We review the theory underlying the technique and magnetic dynamics more generally and give applications of a.c. susceptibility to a wide variety of experimental situations.


Unconventional Field-Induced Spin Gap in an S=1/2 Chiral Staggered Chain.

Physical review letters 122 (2019) 057207-

J Liu, S Kittaka, RD Johnson, T Lancaster, J Singleton, T Sakakibara, Y Kohama, J van Tol, A Ardavan, BH Williams, SJ Blundell, ZE Manson, JL Manson, PA Goddard

We investigate the low-temperature magnetic properties of the molecule-based chiral spin chain [Cu(pym)(H_{2}O)_{4}]SiF_{6}·H_{2}O (pym=pyrimidine). Electron-spin resonance, magnetometry and heat capacity measurements reveal the presence of staggered g tensors, a rich low-temperature excitation spectrum, a staggered susceptibility, and a spin gap that opens on the application of a magnetic field. These phenomena are reminiscent of those previously observed in nonchiral staggered chains, which are explicable within the sine-Gordon quantum-field theory. In the present case, however, although the sine-Gordon model accounts well for the form of the temperature dependence of the heat capacity, the size of the gap and its measured linear field dependence do not fit with the sine-Gordon theory as it stands. We propose that the differences arise due to additional terms in the Hamiltonian resulting from the chiral structure of [Cu(pym)(H_{2}O)_{4}]SiF_{6}·H_{2}O, particularly a uniform Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya coupling and a fourfold periodic staggered field.


Manipulating quantum materials with quantum light

PHYSICAL REVIEW B 99 (2019) ARTN 085116

M Kiffner, JR Coulthard, F Schlawin, A Ardavan, D Jaksch


Hyperfine interaction of individual atoms on a surface.

Science (New York, N.Y.) 362 (2018) 336-339

P Willke, Y Bae, K Yang, JL Lado, A Ferrón, T Choi, A Ardavan, J Fernández-Rossier, AJ Heinrich, CP Lutz

Taking advantage of nuclear spins for electronic structure analysis, magnetic resonance imaging, and quantum devices hinges on knowledge and control of the surrounding atomic-scale environment. We measured and manipulated the hyperfine interaction of individual iron and titanium atoms placed on a magnesium oxide surface by using spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy in combination with single-atom electron spin resonance. Using atom manipulation to move single atoms, we found that the hyperfine interaction strongly depended on the binding configuration of the atom. We could extract atom- and position-dependent information about the electronic ground state, the state mixing with neighboring atoms, and properties of the nuclear spin. Thus, the hyperfine spectrum becomes a powerful probe of the chemical environment of individual atoms and nanostructures.


Molecular electronic spin qubits from a spin-frustrated trinuclear copper complex.

Chemical communications (Cambridge, England) 54 (2018) 12934-12937

B Kintzel, M Böhme, J Liu, A Burkhardt, J Mrozek, A Buchholz, A Ardavan, W Plass

The trinuclear copper(ii) complex [Cu3(saltag)(py)6]ClO4 (H5saltag = tris(2-hydroxybenzylidene)triaminoguanidine) was synthesized and characterized by experimental as well as theoretical methods. This complex exhibits a strong antiferromagnetic coupling (J = -298 cm-1) between the copper(ii) ions, mediated by the N-N diazine bridges of the tritopic ligand, leading to a spin-frustrated system. This compound shows a T2 coherence time of 340 ns in frozen pyridine solution, which extends to 591 ns by changing the solvent to pyridine-d5. Hence, the presented compound is a promising candidate as a building block for molecular spintronics.


Static and Fluctuating Magnetic Moments in the Ferroelectric Metal LiOsO3

Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Muon Spin Rotation, Relaxation and Resonance (μSR2017) Journal of the Physical Society of Japan (2018)

FKK Kirschner, F Lang, FL Pratt, T Lancaster, Y Shi, Y Guo, AT Boothroyd, SJ Blundell


Nodal multigap superconductivity in KCa2Fe4As4F2

Physical Review B 97 (2018) 060509(R)

M Smidman, FKK Kirschner, DT Adroja, AD Hillier, F Lang, Z-C Zhang, G-H Cao, SJ Blundell


Extreme Sensitivity of a Topochemical Reaction to Cation Substitution: SrVO2H versus SrV1- xTi xO1.5H1.5.

Inorganic chemistry 57 (2018) 2890-2898

M Amano Patino, D Zeng, SJ Blundell, JE McGrady, MA Hayward

The anion-ordered oxide-hydride SrVO2H is an antiferromagnetic insulator due to strong correlations between vanadium d electrons. In an attempt to hole-dope SrVO2H into a metallic state, a strategy of first preparing SrV1- xTi xO3 phases and then converting them to the corresponding SrV1- xTi xO2H phases via reaction with CaH2 was followed. This revealed that the solid solution between SrVO3 and SrTiO3 is only stable at high temperature. In addition, reactions between SrV0.95Ti0.05O3 and CaH2 were observed to yield SrV0.95Ti0.05O1.5H1.5 not SrV0.95Ti0.05O2H. This dramatic change in reactivity for a very modest change in initial chemical composition is attributed to an electronic destabilization of SrVO2H on titanium substitution. Density functional theory calculations indicate that the presence of an anion-ordered, tetragonal SrMO2H phase is uniquely associated with a d2 electron count and that titanium substitution leads to an electronic destabilization of SrV1- xTi xO2H phases, which, ultimately, drives further reaction of SrV1- xTi xO2H to SrV1- xTi xO1.5H1.5. The observed sensitivity of the reaction products to the chemical composition of initial phases highlights some of the difficulties associated with electronically doping metastable materials prepared by topochemical reactions.


LaSr3 NiRuO4 H4 : A 4d Transition-Metal Oxide-Hydride Containing Metal Hydride Sheets.

Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English) (2018)

L Jin, M Lane, D Zeng, FKK Kirschner, F Lang, P Manuel, SJ Blundell, JE McGrady, MA Hayward

The synthesis of the first 4d transition metal oxide-hydride, LaSr3 NiRuO4 H4 , is prepared via topochemical anion exchange. Neutron diffraction data show that the hydride ions occupy the equatorial anion sites in the host lattice and as a result the Ru and Ni cations are located in a plane containing only hydride ligands, a unique structural feature with obvious parallels to the CuO2 sheets present in the superconducting cuprates. DFT calculations confirm the presence of S=1/2  Ni+ and S=0, Ru2+ centers, but neutron diffraction and μSR data show no evidence for long-range magnetic order between the Ni centers down to 1.8 K. The observed weak inter-cation magnetic coupling can be attributed to poor overlap between Ni 3dz2 and H 1s in the super-exchange pathways.


Publisher Correction: Magnetic edge states and coherent manipulation of graphene nanoribbons.

Nature 561 (2018) E31-

M Slota, A Keerthi, WK Myers, E Tretyakov, M Baumgarten, A Ardavan, H Sadeghi, CJ Lambert, A Narita, K Müllen, L Bogani

In Fig. 1 of this Letter, there should have been two nitrogen (N) atoms at the 1,3-positions of all the blue chemical structures (next to the oxygen atoms), rather than one at the 2-position. The figure has been corrected online, and the original incorrect figure is shown as Supplementary Information to the accompanying Amendment.


Author Correction: How to probe the spin contribution to momentum relaxation in topological insulators.

Nat Commun 9 (2018) 729-

M-S Nam, BH Williams, Y Chen, S Contera, S Yao, M Lu, Y-F Chen, GA Timco, CA Muryn, REP Winpenny, A Ardavan

The original version of this Article contained an error in the spelling of the author Benjamin H. Williams, which was incorrectly given as Benjamin H. Willams. This has now been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the Article.


Two-gap superconductivity with line nodes in CsCa2Fe4As4F2

PHYSICAL REVIEW B 97 (2018) ARTN 060506

FKK Kirschner, DT Adroja, Z-C Wang, F Lang, M Smidman, PJ Baker, G-H Cao, SJ Blundell


Magnetic edge states and coherent manipulation of graphene nanoribbons.

Nature 557 (2018) 691-695

M Slota, A Keerthi, WK Myers, E Tretyakov, M Baumgarten, A Ardavan, H Sadeghi, CJ Lambert, A Narita, K Müllen, L Bogani

Graphene, a single-layer network of carbon atoms, has outstanding electrical and mechanical properties 1 . Graphene ribbons with nanometre-scale widths2,3 (nanoribbons) should exhibit half-metallicity 4 and quantum confinement. Magnetic edges in graphene nanoribbons5,6 have been studied extensively from a theoretical standpoint because their coherent manipulation would be a milestone for spintronic 7 and quantum computing devices 8 . However, experimental investigations have been hampered because nanoribbon edges cannot be produced with atomic precision and the graphene terminations that have been proposed are chemically unstable 9 . Here we address both of these problems, by using molecular graphene nanoribbons functionalized with stable spin-bearing radical groups. We observe the predicted delocalized magnetic edge states and test theoretical models of the spin dynamics and spin-environment interactions. Comparison with a non-graphitized reference material enables us to clearly identify the characteristic behaviour of the radical-functionalized graphene nanoribbons. We quantify the parameters of spin-orbit coupling, define the interaction patterns and determine the spin decoherence channels. Even without any optimization, the spin coherence time is in the range of microseconds at room temperature, and we perform quantum inversion operations between edge and radical spins. Our approach provides a way of testing the theory of magnetism in graphene nanoribbons experimentally. The coherence times that we observe open up encouraging prospects for the use of magnetic nanoribbons in quantum spintronic devices.


Electrically controlled nuclear polarization of individual atoms.

Nature nanotechnology 13 (2018) 1120-1125

K Yang, P Willke, Y Bae, A Ferrón, JL Lado, A Ardavan, J Fernández-Rossier, AJ Heinrich, CP Lutz

Nuclear spins serve as sensitive probes in chemistry1 and materials science2 and are promising candidates for quantum information processing3-6. NMR, the resonant control of nuclear spins, is a powerful tool for probing local magnetic environments in condensed matter systems, which range from magnetic ordering in high-temperature superconductors7,8 and spin liquids9 to quantum magnetism in nanomagnets10,11. Increasing the sensitivity of NMR to the single-atom scale is challenging as it requires a strong polarization of nuclear spins, well in excess of the low polarizations obtained at thermal equilibrium, as well as driving and detecting them individually4,5,12. Strong nuclear spin polarization, known as hyperpolarization, can be achieved through hyperfine coupling with electron spins2. The fundamental mechanism is the conservation of angular momentum: an electron spin flips and a nuclear spin flops. The nuclear hyperpolarization enables applications such as in vivo magnetic resonance imaging using nanoparticles13, and is harnessed for spin-based quantum information processing in quantum dots14 and doped silicon15-17. Here we polarize the nuclear spins of individual copper atoms on a surface using a spin-polarized current in a scanning tunnelling microscope. By employing the electron-nuclear flip-flop hyperfine interaction, the spin angular momentum is transferred from tunnelling electrons to the nucleus of individual Cu atoms. The direction and magnitude of the nuclear polarization is controlled by the direction and amplitude of the current. The nuclear polarization permits the detection of the NMR of individual Cu atoms, which is used to sense the local magnetic environment of the Cu electron spin.


Quantum magnetism in molecular spin ladders probed with muonspin spectroscopy

NEW JOURNAL OF PHYSICS 20 (2018) ARTN 103002

T Lancaster, F Xiao, BM Huddart, RC Williams, FL Pratt, SJ Blundell, SJ Clark, R Scheuermann, T Goko, S Ward, JL Manson, C Ruegg, KW Kramer


Multigap Superconductivity in RbCa2Fe4As4F2 Investigated Using mu SR Measurements

JOURNAL OF THE PHYSICAL SOCIETY OF JAPAN 87 (2018) ARTN 124705

DT Adroja, FKK Kirschner, F Lang, M Smidman, AD Hillier, Z-C Wang, G-H Cao, GBG Stenning, SJ Blundell


Comparative study of the magnetic properties of La<inf>3</inf>Ni<inf>2</inf>B′O<inf>9</inf>for B′ = Nb, Taor Sb

Journal of Solid State Chemistry 258 (2018) 825-834

CM Chin, PD Battle, SJ Blundell, E Hunter, F Lang, M Hendrickx, R Paria Sena, J Hadermann

© 2017 Elsevier Inc. Polycrystalline samples of La 3 Ni 2 NbO 9 and La 3 Ni 2 TaO 9 have been characterised by X-ray and neutron diffraction, electron microscopy, magnetometry and muon spin relaxation (µSR); the latter technique was also applied to La 3 Ni 2 SbO 9 . On the length scale of a neutron diffraction experiment, the six-coordinate sites of the monoclinic perovskite structure are occupied in a 1:1 ordered manner by Ni and a random ⅓Ni/⅔B′ mixture. Electron microscopy demonstrated that this 1:1 ordering is maintained over microscopic distances, although diffuse scattering indicative of short-range ordering on the mixed site was observed. No magnetic Bragg scattering was observed in neutron diffraction patterns collected from La 3 Ni 2 B′O 9 (B′ = Nb or Ta) at 5 K although in each case µSR identified the presence of static spins below 30 K. Magnetometry showed that La 3 Ni 2 NbO 9 behaves as a spin glass below 29 K but significant short-range interactions are present in La 3 Ni 2 TaO 9 below 85 K. The contrasting properties of these compounds are discussed in terms of their microstructure.

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