Emergent behavior in thin film heterostructures

Thin film heterostructures provide unique platforms for tailoring electronic states.  The ability to manipulate a material's electronic ground state via strain, confinement, and interface effects can be harnessed to control phenomena ranging from superconductivity, magnetism, quantum criticality, and charge/orbital order.  One particularly fascinating aspect is the ability to create quantum wells inside of a variety of hosts whose carrier densities can be driven to extreme highly levels via confinement effects.  The interplay between these high density quantum wells and correlation effects in a host material are an area of our particular focus.  Our activities focus on exploring magnetism and orbital order in thin film heterostructures via neutron and synchrotron x-ray scattering techniques.  We collaborate closely with groups such as the Stemmer group at UCSB to obtain pristine thin films for experimental study.