Installation of new MBE system

DCA have installed a dual-chamber MBE system for the growth of designer oxide heterostructures at the School of Physics and Astronomy of the University of St Andrews. See below for a video of the assembly.

The MBE system will be coupled to existing state-of-the-art spectroscopic probes including low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy and angle-resolved photoemission. This EPSRC-funded strategic equipment (EP/M023958/1) will operate as a shared facility, which we aim to establish as a leading centre for the supply of custom oxide thin films within the UK.

Ana Maldonado at Lindau Meeting

Ana Maldonado, former TOPNES PDRA at the University of St Andrews, attended the Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates. The Nobel Laureate Meeting is an opportunity for early career researchers to meet excellent scientists from Nobel Laureates to undergraduate students. To learn more about Ana and her visit of the Lindau Meeting, see the links below.

Women in research blog

Interview with Physics World

Panel discussion on how immigration shapes the scientific world

TV interview (in spanish):

¿Es necesario emigrar si quieres ser científico?

EQM2016 Conference

From 8th to 10th of June 2016, we are organizing a conference on Engineering Quantum Matter in St Andrews. The aim of this workshop is to bring together theorists and experimentalists to discuss how engineered quantum states can be exploited and designed for future technologies. The workshop connects strongly to local research activities at the University of St Andrews and links into a major collaborative research programme on topological protection and non-equilibrium states in strongly correlated electron systems (TOPNES). We have been able to attract a number of outstanding speakers. As there is only a limited number of places available, secure yours early.

We are grateful for funding provided by the IMPP, ICAM-I2CAM and TOPNES/EPSRC.

Now Recruiting: PhD Projects available

Are you a highly motivated student in your final year? Take a look at the PhD projects in the group offered at the School of Physics and Astronomy in St. Andrews. You will be working in brand new ultra-low vibration laboratories, which are unique in the UK, on custom-built cutting-edge scanning probe microscopes.
There is a range of possibilities for joining us as a PhD student, via the doctoral training center in condensed matter physics, the doctoral training grant at the University of St Andrews and the Chinese Scholarship program.
For further information don’t hesitate to contact Peter Wahl (wahl[at]

Highly motivated researcher wanted !

TOPNESlogoWe are recruiting and look for highly motivated postdoctoral researchers who are keen to do cutting edge research and work with multiple techniques. This position is within the collaborative programme grant TOPNES, for details please have a look at the Job advert AR1676ML (Research Fellow in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics).

In this position, as the successful applicant you will work with Peter Wahl and Phil King to study oxide surfaces and interfaces, specifically the electronic structure and low-density superconductivity in bulk and reduced-dimensional SrTiO3-based systems.  The work will involve employing state-of-the-art equipment for scanning tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy in St Andrews, as well as working at international synchrotron light sources. In addition to using existing state-of-the-art spectroscopic probes, you will also work on integrating these with a new system for reactive-oxide molecular beam epitaxy for the study of atomic-scale SrTiO3-based designer heterostructures.

Ultra-low Vibration Labs Now Open!

Education Secretary Angela Constance officially opened our new ultra-low vibration (ULV) labs on 21 May. The event was attended by over 100 colleagues and guests. See full details and images here.

The St Andrews ULV labs are the most advanced in the UK and one of just a handful worldwide. The labs are designed to provide an ultra-low vibration environment for the custom-built microscopes developed in the group. We can now continue imaging and study of individual atoms in advanced materials, including superconductors which conduct electricity without losses, and quantum materials for next generation technologies.


Media coverage:

Meet us at Vortex 2015

You can hear about our work at Vortex 2015 in El Escorial, Spain. We’ll have two contributions:

  • Monday, May 11th, 11:30-11:55: Peter Wahl: “Superconducting gap and vortex lattice of the heavy fermion compound CeCu2Si2
  • Thursday, May 14th, 10:40-10:55: Ana Maldonado: “Dirac surface states and superconductivity in noncentrosymmetric BiPd”

Ultra-low vibration labs coming online

Our ultra-low vibration (ULV) labs are coming online. See below a photo of the almost completed building. We will soon start the first measurements in this bespoke new facility.


New paper: Dirac Surface States and Nature of Superconductivity in Noncentrosymmetric BiPd

Superconducoverimage3ctivity in non-centrosymmetric material promises to be unconventional, the lack of spatial inversion symmetry allows for a triplet component of the order parameter. For various non-centrosymmetric materials, evidence for a triplet component of the order parameter has been put forward.
In this paper, we show that in BiPd superconductivity looks much more conventional when zooming in to the atomic scale by ultra-low temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). What’s more, STM results are consistent with macroscopic characterization by specific heat, whereas electric transport measurements are not – suggesting that electric transport detects signatures from defects in the material rather than being representative of bulk behaviour.
Our measurements further show signatures of Dirac surface states, confirmed by relativistic ab-initio calculations.

Read the full paper at

  • Z. Sun, M. Enayat, A. Maldonado, C. Lithgow, E. Yelland, D.C. Peets, A. Yaresko, A.P. Schnyder and P. Wahl, Dirac Surface States and Nature of Superconductivity in Noncentrosymmetric BiPd, Nat. Commun. 6, 6633 (2015) (open), arxiv/1407.5667.