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Head of the Institute
Prof. Dr. Matthieu Le Tacon
Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
Institut für Festkörperphysik
Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1
D-76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen
Postal Address
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Institut für Festkörperphysik
P.O. Box 3640
D-76021 Karlsruhe
Phone ++49-721608-26751
Fax       ++49-721608-24624
Carmen DoerflingerGnk6∂kit edu

KIT Campus North
Building 425


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Welcome to the Institute for Solid-State Physics (IFP)

The Institute for Solid-State Physics (IFP) focuses its research on electronic properties of condensed matter with emphasis on novel systems where quantum correlations and strong electronic interactions play a key role.

The combination of experimental and theoretical methods at our disposal is geared towards the in-depth understanding of these systems. The full gamut of methods ranges from state-of-the-art material growth capabilities (single crystals and thin films) to transport and thermodynamic methods, x-ray diffraction, inelastic scattering of photons and neutrons, electron spectroscopies and spectromicroscopies. Investigations can further be carried out under extreme conditions (mK temperatures, magnetic fields up to 14 T, high pressure, strain...).

Advanced theoretical modelling and ab-initio simulations furthermore provide valuable insights for the preparation of the experiments and the interpretation of their results.

The experiments are carried out at the IFP and at several instruments installed at large-scale facilities, in particular the soft x-ray analytics facility WERA and the triple-axis thermal neutron spectrometer 1T.

The research is conducted within the HGF program Science and Technology of Nanosystems (STN) in the topic Condensed Matter and Molecular Building Blocks. WERA is also participating in the Karlsruhe Nano-Micro Facility (KNMF) platform.

Publication Highlights  / News

Thermodynamic Evidence for the Fulde-Ferrell-Larkin-Ovchinnikov State in KFe<sub>2</sub>As<sub>2</sub>
Thermodynamic Evidence for the Fulde-Ferrell-Larkin-Ovchinnikov State in KFe2As2

We investigated the magnetic phase diagram of KFe2As2 near the upper critical field by magnetic torque and specific heat experiments using a high-resolution piezorotary positioner to precisely control the parallel alignment of the magnetic field with respect to the FeAs layers. We observed a clear double transition when the field is strictly aligned in the plane and a characteristic upturn of the upper critical field line, which goes far beyond the Pauli limit at 4.8 T. This provides firm evidence that a Fulde-Ferrell-Larkin-Ovchinnikov state exists in this iron-based KFe2As2 superconductor.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 119 (2017) 217002

Dominant magnetic interactions in BaFe<sub>2</sub>As<sub>2</sub>
Dominant magnetic interactions in BaFe2As2

High-temperature superconductivity in Fe-based materials is closely connected to magnetic as well as to orbital, lattice, and nematic degrees of freedom. For the prototypical parent compound BaFe2As2 the magnetic susceptibility and resistivity anisotropies measured on application of a large symmetry breaking strain strongly suggest that magnetism plays the dominant role in this hierarchy of interactions.

Nat. Commun. 8 (2017) 504

Crossover behavior of spin excitations in cuprates
Crossover behavior of spin excitations in cuprates

Spin excitations in overdoped Tl2Ba2CuO6+δ and (Bi,Pb)2(Sr,La)2CuO6+δ were investigated by resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS). The RIXS spectra of underdoped and optimally doped cuprate superconductors are dominated by a paramagnon feature with peak energy independent of photon energy. Beyond optimal doping, the RIXS data indicate a sharp crossover to a regime with a strong contribution from incoherent particle-hole excitations.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 119 (2017) 97001

Role of apical oxygen in cuprate superconductors
Role of apical oxygen in cuprate superconductors

For parent compounds of cuprate superconductors differing by the number of apical atoms, the magnetic spectra have been measured by resonant inelastic X-ray scattering over a significant portion of the reciprocal space and with unprecedented accuracy. The absence of apical oxygens increases the in-plane hopping range and, in CaCuO2 apparantly leads to a genuine three-dimensional exchange-bond network.

Nat. Phys. 13 (2017) 1201

TiO<sub>x</sub> nanotubes for gas-analytical multisensors
TiOx nanotubes for gas-analytical multisensors

As an approach for cost effective but highly sensitive and selective gas sensors for reliable environmental monitoring, TiOx nanotube layers have been fabricated on multisensor array chips. At operating temperatures up to 400 °C a promising sensitivity and selectivity towards organic vapors in the ppm range could be demonstrated.

Sci. Rep. 7 (2017) 9732

Raman scattering from Higgs mode in Ca<sub>2</sub>RuO<sub>4</sub>
Raman scattering from Higgs mode in Ca2RuO4

The quasi-2d antiferromagnetic order in Ca2RuO4 has been described as a condensate of low-lying spin-orbit excitons with angular momentum Jeff=1. Raman scattering for different polarization geometries allows to disentangle the amplitude (Higgs) mode of this condensate from magnon contributions. Together with recent neutron scattering data, this provides strong evidence for excitonic magnetism in Ca2RuO4.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 119 (2017) 67201

Entropy landscape of quantum criticality
Entropy landscape of quantum criticality

Based on general thermodynamic principles, the spatial-dimensional profile of the entropy S near a quantum critical point has been determined, and its steepest descent in the corresponding multidimensional stress space. The approach is demonstrated for CeCu6−xAux near its onset of antiferromagnetic order.

Nat. Phys. 13 (2017) 742

Electron-phonon coupling in Topological Insulators
Electron-phonon coupling in Topological Insulators

The electron-phonon interaction in the metallic surface state of 3D topological insulators is revised within a first principles framework. For Bi2Se3 and Bi2Te3 the overall weak coupling constant is less than 0.15. The prevailing coupling is carried by optical modes of polar character, which is weakly screened by the metallic surface state and can be reduced by doping into bulk bands.

Sci. Rep. 7 (2017) 1059

Superconducting pairing analysis via inelastic STM
Superconducting pairing analysis via inelastic STM

The inclusion of inelastic tunnel events is shown to be crucial for the interpretation of tunneling spectra of unconventional superconductors and to allow to directly probe electronic and bosonic excitations via scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). For the iron based superconductor LiFeAs this leads to strong evidence for a nonconventional pairing mechanism, likely via magnetic excitations.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 118 (2017) 167001

Electronic correlation strength in Ba(Fe<sub>1−x</sub>Co<sub>x</sub>)<sub>2</sub>As<sub>2</sub>
Electronic correlation strength in Ba(Fe1−xCox)2As2

The electronic correlation strength in Ba(Fe1−xCox)2As2 has been probed by the normal-state Hall angle. It was found that correlation strength can be characterized by the ratios of Tc to the Fermi temperature TF, the spin exchange energy J to TF, and the transverse mass to longitudinal mass.

New J. Phys. 19 (2017) 33039

Entropy evolution in the magnetic phases of CePdAl
Entropy evolution in the magnetic phases of CePdAl

In CePdAl, long-range antiferromagnetic order coexists with geometric frustration of one-third of the Ce moments. At low temperatures, the Kondo effect tends to screen the frustrated moments. Suppressing the Kondo screening by a magnetic field, the liberated moments tend to maximize the magnetic entropy and strongly enhance the frustration which can be quantified in terms of the observed enhanced entropy.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 118 (2017) 107204

Switching of a large anomalous Hall effect
Switching of a large anomalous Hall effect

Antiferromagnetic Mn5Si3 single crystals were shown to exhibit an extraordinarily large anomalous Hall effect which is strongly anisotropic and features multiple transitions with sign changes at different magnetic fields due to field-induced rearrangements of the magnetic structure despite only tiny variations of the total magnetization.

Sci. Rep. 7 (2017) 42982

Thermal Hall conductivity of FeSe
Thermal Hall conductivity of FeSe

The superconducting semimetal FeSe (Tc ∼ 8 K) is suggested to be in the crossover regime between weak-coupling Bardeen–Cooper–Schrieffer (BCS) and strong-coupling Bose–Einstein-condensate (BEC) limits. The longitudinal and transverse thermal conductivities measured in magnetic fields up to 20 T imply that a highly anisotropic small superconducting gap forms at the electron Fermi-surface pocket whereas a more isotropic and larger gap forms at the hole pocket.

J. Phys. Soc. Jpn. 86 (2017) 14707

Doping <i>vs.</i> substitution in (Ba,K)(Fe,TM)<sub>2</sub>As<sub>2</sub>
Doping vs. substitution in (Ba,K)(Fe,TM)2As2

This systematic study of the spatial and electronic structure of the (Ba,K)(Fe,TM)2As2 family (TM: transition metal) shows strange doping: sometimes “reluctant”, always either on the Fe or on the As site (“site-decoupled”). This and further observations including the un-orthodox TM 3d energy-level sequences suggest a lesser role of charge-carrier doping than expected in pnictide superconductivity and magnetism.

J. Phys. Soc. Jpn. 85 (2016) 44707