Uncovering the secrets of metamagnetic Sr4Ru3O10: How electronic structure and symmetry shape its behavior

Metamagnetic materials, like Sr4Ru3O10, have potential applications for spintronics and novel information technologies, which involves using the spin of electrons in devices. In this study, we used advanced spectroscopic techniques to investigate Sr4Ru3O10 and understand between the electronic structure, crystal symmetries, spin-orbit coupling and magnetism. We used low temperature scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy to study the material’s metamagnetism. Our results provide new insights into how the electronic structure of Sr4Ru3O10 influences its properties, which could potentially be useful for developing new spintronic devices.


Read more in our paper in Phys. Rev. B.

Imaging a Lifshitz transition

How does a Lifshitz transition look like in real space? Cool data hot off the press in Carolina and Luke’s new paper in Science Advances (here), imaging a magnetic-field induced Lifshitz transition in the surface layer of Sr3Ru2O7 with our millikelvin STM. Lot’s of new puzzles. For example, why do stripes appear in magnetic field? Why is QPI so anisotropic? What does the behaviour of the surface tell us about the bulk? Stay tuned for more!

Domain walls in a van der Waals ferromagnet.

Can we link the shape of a domain wall in a van der Waals (vdW) ferromagnet to microscopic interaction parameters? Yes we can! Read our new paper to find out how we can link the details of the magnon dispersion from neutron scattering to the shape of a domain wall as measured by spin-polarized STM in the vdW ferromagnetic metal Fe3-xGeTe2.

C. Trainer et al., Physical Review B 106, L081405 (2022).

Meet us at CMQM2022

Meet us and hear about our research at the CMQM 2022 conference in Bath (20-22 June 2022). Here is a list of our contributions:

  • Carolina de Almeida Marques on Monday, 15:25pm: Atomic-scale imaging of emergent order at a magnetic-field-induced Lifshitz transition.
  • Olivia Armitage on Monday, 16:00pm (invited): Spin-polarised imaging and quasi-particle interference of the van-der-Waals ferromagnet Fe3GeTe2.
  • Liam S. Farrar on Tuesday, 12:00pm: Electronic and magnetic structure of Fe3Sn2 characterised by scanning tunnelling microscopy.
  • Luke C. Rhodes on Wednesday, 11:30am: Imaging the field-induced changes in the electronic structure of metamagnetic Sr4Ru3O10.
  • Izidor Benedičič on Wednesday, 11:45am: Compass-like manipulation of nematicity in Sr3Ru2O7.
  • Daniel Halliday with a poster on Revisiting the surface reconstruction of Sr2RuO4.


Congratulations to Carolina Marques who was awarded the IOP Superconductivity Group Thesis Prize for “the best thesis in the field of superconductivity submitted for a PhD in the UK or Ireland in a given year”!👏

In her thesis on “Imaging emergent correlated phases in the strontium ruthenates” Carolina has used ultra-low temperature STM to map out exotic electronic states found at the surfaces of ruthenates, revealing novel phases, a plethora of van-Hove singularities and a hitherto largely unexplored new playground to study correlated electron physics.

PhD positions

The 2022 recruitment round for PhD positions is open!

PhD positions are available, funded through a number of routes, including through EPSRC DTG places and an International Max Planck Research School. You can find a list of example projects on the web page of the School of Physics and Astronomy.
Our group develops and operates cutting edge instrumentation for atomic scale studies of electronic structure, complex magnetic orders and unconventional superconductivity in quantum materials. The experiments are undertaken in dedicated ultra-low vibration labs. Projects are embedded in the Centre for Designer Quantum Materials, offering a vibrant and stimulating environment.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch. Submit applications through the University portal.

Quasiparticle interference with a twist

In a new paper in npj Quantum Materials we show how small rotations of the ruthenium oxide octahedra in the enigmatic superconductor Sr2RuO4 enable us to detect its van Hove singularity, which would otherwise be practically invisible for us due to its orbital character. Modelling of the quasiparticle interference shows excellent agreement with experiment once the rotation of the octahedra is accounted for, resulting in chiral scattering patterns around defects.

Measuring Exchange Interactions using Helium

Read our new paper in Physical Review Letters to find out how one can use helium to measure exchange interactions between a sample and the tip of a Scanning Tunneling Microscope. We show that helium becomes trapped in the tunneling junction, but can be ejected by the tunneling electrons enabling us to spatially map its binding energy. Alternative title could have been ‘how a helium leak enabled us to probe exchange interactions’.

Meet us in Cyberspace at the Virtual DPG Meeting

Meet members of the group and hear about our most recent results in the following talks and posters at the virtual meeting of the condensed matter section of the DPG (27 September – 1 October 2021, see here for a list of our contributions, note that times are CEST (UTC+2)):

  • Christopher Trainer on Monday, 27.9., 10:30, talk MA 1.2: The effect of trapped Helium atoms on spin polarized tunneling in an STM tunnel junction
  • Olivia Armitage on Tuesday, 28.9., 10:30, talk MA 4.2: Spin-polarised imaging and quasi-particle interference of the van-der-Waals ferromagnet Fe3GeTe2
  • Izidor Benedičič on Tuesday, 28.9., 13:30, poster TT 9.27: Anisotropic metamagnetism in trilayer ruthenate Sr4Ru3O10
  • Carolina Marques on Thursday, 30.9., 12:15, talk TT 19.5: Nematicity and checkerboard order in the surface layer of Sr2RuO4

In addition, Andreas Kreisel from University of Leipzig will talk about our joint work on Sr2RuO4 on Thursday, 30.9., 12:30, in talk TT 19.6 on Quasiparticle Interference of the van-Hove singularity in Sr2RuO4.