In our lab we synthesize artificial crystals of complex materials layer by layer in order to create designer quantum matter such as two-dimensional systems of interacting electrons. After synthesis, we explore the electronic properties of our artificial materials by means of a variety of experimental probes, including electrical and thermal transport at the nanoscale, ultrafast dynamics, x-ray and optical spectroscopy.
Our main focus is on a class of materials known as complex oxides. These display an amazing variety of different electronic properties such as magnetism and superconductivity at much higher temperatures than any other material. Such remarkable diversity is found in materials possessing a similar crystalline structure. This creates the opportunity to combine them in artificial crystals characterised by sharp interfaces, just as Lego bricks of different colours can be assembled in a single structure.
Our ultimate challenge is to design and produce new correlated phases of matter. We are driven by scientific curiosity but at the same time we are alert to the practical application of our research in energy conversion and electronics.