High magnetic fields

We use magnetic fields to characterise, perturb and tune the properties of today's most interesting materials.

Both quasi-static and pulsed magnets are available for low-temperature experiments in the Clarendon. Above, magnet operators sit in the pulsed-field control room and prepare to fire a millisecond current pulse into the magnet in the adjacent laboratory.

The application of high magnetic fields is a powerful method for revealing the complex behaviour found in quantum materials. Not only does a magnetic field couple to conduction electrons and magnetic moments, key ingredients in quantum matter, it is also directional, allowing the topology of electronic interactions to be investigated. The uses to which very high fields can be put include: accessing the normal state of high-temperature superconductors and mapping out the topology of their Fermi surface; changing the energy level structure of a material and allowing excited states to be explored; identifying quantum phase transitions; aligning spins and lifting the frustration in low-dimensional magnets; altering the character of the quasiparticles in heavy fermion compounds; and revealing hidden order or inducing new phases in magnetic or charge-ordered materials.

Ultra-high fields can be achieved in the Nicholas Kurti Magnetic Field Laboratory. Accessing fields of up to 60 Tesla, this is the only facility of its kind in the UK.
Top: magnetization curves from an antiferromagnetic coordination polymer reveal information about the ability of organic molecules to mediate magnetic interactions. Bottom: quantum oscillations in a layered organic crystal tell us about the electronic environment inside unconventional superconductors.

Groups using this technique