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Quantifying electron-electron forces at the atomic scale

Project description

Probing electron correlation dynamics in two-dimensional materials

Two-dimensional (2D) materials present exotic quantum phases of matter – unconventional superconductivity, novel insulating phases and exotic magnetic order. These phenomena can be leveraged to create new forms of energy-efficient technologies. Fundamental understanding and exploration of 2D materials hinge on the ability to study electron–electron interactions. Electron correlations are the key driving forces behind these exotic quantum phases. The EU-funded DeQ project will investigate the role of electron correlations and their interplay with structural and spin degrees of freedom at the single-atom level in insulating quantum phases of novel 2D materials. The project will quantify atomic-scale charge and spin order at transitions between different quantum phases in three classes of hallmark 2D materials: twisted bilayers, correlated quasi-2D compounds and 2D magnetic materials.

Objective

Quantum phases of matter in novel 2D materials host fascinating correlated electron properties, such as unconventional superconductivity, novel insulating phases and exotic magnetic order. These phenomena are a hotbed of new forms of energy-efficient technologies, which require fundamental understanding and exploration of these material classes. Since the beginning, scientists have been struggling with the puzzling lack of consistent predictability of such materials, leading predominantly to serendipitous discoveries. The key ingredient driving these exotic quantum phases are electron-electron interactions, so-called correlations. These correlations between the electrons play a prominent role in their movement, and often result into atomic-scale charge and spin order, and are amplified in 2D materials compared to their 3D counterparts. Owing to the 2D nature, a new state-of-the-art methodology is needed to elucidate the electronic and magnetic properties in correlated 2D quantum materials. DeQ investigates the role of electron correlations and their interplay with structural and spin degrees of freedom at the single-atom level in insulating quantum phases of novel 2D materials. To accomplish this aim, my innovative strategy is to quantify atomic-scale charge and spin order at transitions between different quantum phases in three classes of hallmark 2D materials: twisted bilayers, correlated quasi-2D compounds, and 2D magnetic materials. My novel approach is based on creating a new state of the art in atomic imaging and spectroscopy, the JAQ setup. The development of JAQ will enable us to precisely tune relevant parameters, like electric and magnetic fields, in the highest-quality materials available. The outcome of DeQ will be groundbreaking for predicting electron correlations in novel quantum phases in 2D materials, which that are a hotbed of innovative forms of energy-efficient technologies.

Host institution

STICHTING RADBOUD UNIVERSITEIT
Net EU contribution
€ 1 912 095,00
Address
HOUTLAAN 4
6525 XZ Nijmegen
Netherlands

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Region
Oost-Nederland Gelderland Arnhem/Nijmegen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 1 912 095,00

Beneficiaries (1)