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Magnets are ubiquitous in modern life: they are key components in sensors, actuators, motors, appliances, computers, cars. PaRMa is the home of the SMFI Dept. expertise in magnetism. Theorists, material scientists and experimental physicists join efforts on the following main topics.
Quantum computers will exploit quintessential quantum mechanical phenomena like superposition states and entanglement to outperform even the best conceivable classical supercomputer.
We study possible physical implementations of the qubits, the basic units of a quantum computer, and we develop system-specific quantum algorithms. We also use the prototype IBM quantum computers.
Molecules containing magnetically interacting metallic ions have recently become the object of a huge research activity, both from the fundamental point of view and for the potential applications. These molecules are usually arranged in crystalline-ordered structures in which shells of organic ligands provide magnetic separation between adjacent molecules.
Magnetocaloric Effect and materials. The magnetocaloric effect (MCE) of the materials is manifested both in the form of an isothermal entropy change and as a variation of the adiabatic temperature following the application of a magnetic field. Applications of MCE are in energy conversion: magnetic refrigeration and thermo-magnetic generators. Studied materials are Ni-Mn-X Heusler alloys.
Magneto-electric multiferroic materials. Class of materials showing the coexistence of two ferroic orders: ferroelectricity and ferromagnetism. Applications in multifunctional devices with crossed electrical and magnetic control (sensors, spintronics). Studied materials are AMnO3 manganites with perovskite structure.
From chiral magnets to superconductors
Many competing orders: MnSi, MnGe, MnP are helimagnets: their spin structure winds like a spiral. MnP can be be turned into superconductor by applyimg pressure.
MnSi is the prototype skyrmion lattice material: it hosts curls of spins that may be addressed as nanoscopic bits. We investigate these complex materials by muon spectroscopy, NMR and ab-initio calculations.
(see e.g. PhysRevB.93.180509, Phys. Rev. B 97, 174414)