NWO-ENW M2 funding for Peter Kraus’ research on strongly correlated materials
In the NWO-ENW Open Competition M2 call, ARCNL group leader and VU assistant professor Peter Kraus has received funding for a project named ‘Ultrafast X-ray access to strongly correlated designer materials’ (UltraX). The project is a collaboration with Gertjan Koster (University of Twente). A total amount 700.000 euro is available to carry out the UltraX project.
With the project the researchers intend to get a better understanding of strongly correlated materials. These are materials that are theoretically predicted to behave as conductors, but then turn out to be insulators in experiments. The properties of these materials are poorly understood. Especially the phase transitions in strongly correlated materials that are accompanied by a technologically relevant order-of-magnitude resistivity switch are of interest. It makes the material suitable for oxide electronics that potentially can reduce the carbon footprint of the semiconductor industry. The researchers will focus on a particular class of strongly correlated materials called nickelates. These provide a unique material platform to manipulate the correlated electrons to tailor the properties of phase transitions.
The University of Twente will make samples using tandem optimization-measurement cycles and ARCNL will be responsible for measuring the phase transition dynamics. The measuring technique ARCNL will use is ultrafast X-ray spectroscopy, hence the project title UltraX. This technique will help the researchers to understand how the atomic and electronic structures evolve during phase transition. Consequently, the information acquired can provide direct feedback for sample design.