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The pairing interaction in ferromagnetic superconductors


The central objective of the present proposal is the experimental identification of the mechanism responsible for the emergence of superconductivity in metallic ferromagnets. Whereas for conventional superconductors this problem has been solved over half a century ago, recently discovered ferromagnetic superconductors exhibit properties that indicate the existence of a novel mechanism for the formation of superconductivity.

The proposed project will address this question via an experimental study of the spectrum of elementary excitations of two materials that exhibit ferromagnetic superconductivity, namely UGe2 and URhGe. For this purpose, the inelastic scattering of neutrons will be employed as a microscopic probe. This method is ideally suited for our objective since the neutron is a non-invasive probe that is electrically inert but sensitive to the magnetic excitations by virtue of its intrinsic magnetic moment, thus allowing absolute measurements to be made. With this technique we will measure the dynamical susceptibility, which will allow us to identify the type of excitations present in UGe2 and URhGe.

The project will involve a number of experimental methods including materials synthesis, low temperatures, high pressures, and neutron scattering. Through t he completion of this project, the applicant will acquire a broad range of scientific and technical abilities while establishing himself in the field of research corresponding to his interests. The training and visibility thus gained will promote the professional maturity and insertion of the applicant on his path to become an independent researcher. In turn, the research will be beneficial to the host institution and will contribute to the advancement of European science. It will add considerably to our knowledge and understanding of the physics of these new emerging materials.

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