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Tuesday, December 11

Material Synthesis and Crystal Growth Facilities at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory from Fundamental Physics to Applications

Edith Bourret, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley
Synthesis and Processing of Novel Materials Group Seminar
11:00 AM — 12:00 PM, CR: Building 4500-S, Room A-177
Contact: Lynn Boatner (boatnerla@ornl.gov), 865.574.5492

Abstract

The ability to make new materials is often key to major progress in fundamental physics and numerous applications. In that context, I will present the versatile materials synthesis and crystal growth facilities developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory over the last 6 years and discuss their impact on science and applications using examples from the physics of superconductors, topological insulators and scintillator materials.

It is abundantly clear that the pace, scale, and sheer complexity of quantum materials research requires synthesis of new materials specifically designed and produced to test the hypothesis. The discovery of new forms of order in quantum materials, such as in the new class of Fe-based superconductors, is providing insights into competing spin, orbital, and lattice interactions that yield a multiplicity of nearly degenerate ground states and complex phase diagrams, providing new opportunities to settle long-standing superconductivity mysteries. Examples of new superconductors and topological insulators will be presented.

Applications-driven research also requires new materials and in the last few years, the pace of discovery of new scintillators has increased dramatically mainly due to the needs for domestic and international security. The multi-disciplinary approach used at LBNL for discovering scintillators for gamma detection that approach fundamental limits in terms of luminosity, energy resolution, stopping power and response time will be presented. This project has resulted in the discovery of dozens of new scintillators, the best of which have been grown as small crystals and has led to the discovery of some of the brightest known Eu-doped scintillators. In addition to applied research, systematic fundamental studies can be done based on the large number of characterized samples. This allows for determination of trends in optical properties of classes of compounds that can be used to engineer new materials with tailored properties.