Uniaxial strain and high magnetic field investigation on materials with novel order parameters
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At low temperatures, strongly correlated materials, which typically contain partially filled d- or f-electron shells, often exhibit phases with interesting properties, which may be of both research value and technological significance. The mechanisms of phase formation in them if could be clarified, are believed to be able to provide important insights not only into physics but also into the design of new materials. In this thesis, the experimental study of two strongly correlated materials, Sr₂RuO₄ and CeAuSb₂ is presented. Sr₂RuO₄ is an unconventional superconductor, and a strong candidate for spin-triplet superconductivity. Its potential significance in relation to quantum computing also makes it of great scientific interest. In order to clarify the role of the Van Hove singularity (VHS) in its superconductivity, experimental study has been performed with the recently developed uniaxial strain methods. The experimental results suggest that as the sample is compressed towards the VHS, the transition temperature can be enhanced by a factor of =2.3 whilst the upper critical field can be enhanced by a factor of more than ten. The experimental findings are intriguing and new possibilities are open for future study. CeAuSb₂ is a Kondo lattice system which has been speculated to be close to a quantum critical point. The similarity between some of its low temperature properties and those of a well-known quantum critical system Sr₃Ru₂O₇ makes it especially interesting. In this thesis, new magnetoresistivity and torque magnetometry measurements are used to clarify its low temperature phase diagram, and reveal the strength of its magnetic anisotropy.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy