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Dynamical signatures of quantum spin liquids

Project Description

This project will lay the ground for quantitative diagnostics of quantum spin liquids (QSLs), which hold promise for future quantum technologies and computing applications.The PhD student will endeavour into one of the most vibrant fields of condensed matter, acquire expertise in numerical and analytical methods, work on experimentally driven problems, and collaborate with world leading experts.

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.
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Full Project Detail

The search of quantum spin liquids (QSLs) -- one of the most elusive topological phases [1,2], proposed as parent states of high-temperature superconductors [3] -- has now gained strong impetus from the discovery of a series of compounds, like a-RuCl3, NaIr2O3 and ZnCu3(OH)6Cl2. The observation in these materials of long-range entanglement, topological degeneracy and fractionalized excitations [1,2,4], holds promise for future quantum technologies [5,6].

The overarching goal is to provide quantitative diagnostics of QSLs. This is the most crucial challenge in the field because: i) topological phases do not have local order, and ii) the available materials deviate from exactly solvable models. The crucial aspect of this project is the use of high-performance algorithms for the calculation of dynamical response. This is the most promising way to diagnose QSLs, because the response bears signatures of fractionalization [7].

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics.

How to apply

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Physics.

Please quote reference number: IR/PH/2019.

Funding Notes

This studentship will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and/or any of the advertised projects prioritised for funding by the School of Science.

The 3-year studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £14,777 (2018 rate) per annum (in line with the standard research council rates) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. International (non-EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will be used towards the cost of the International tuition fee in the first instance.


1. X. G. Wen, Quantum Field Theory of Many-Body Systems. Oxford Univeristy Press (2010). 

2. L. Balents, Nature 464, 7286 (2010). 

3. P. W. Anderson, Mat. Res. Bull. 8, 153-160 (1973).
4. I. Rousochatzakis, Y. Sizyuk, N. B. Perkins, Nat. Commun. 9, 1575 (2018).
5. C. Nayak, et al., Rev. Mod. Phys. 80, 1083 (2008)
6. M. H. Freedman, et al., Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 40, 31 (2003)
7. I. Rousochatzakis, S. Kourtis, J. Knolle, R. Moessner, N. B. Perkins,

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