Historically the study of helium has played a central role in condensed matter physics: the establishment of the Landau theory of Fermi liquids; the first unconventional “superconductor” with p-wave pairing breaking the high symmetry of the normal state; the demonstration of atomic ring exchange and frustrated magnetism in solid 3He; superfluidity and BEC in an interacting bosonic system; phase transitions mediated by topological defects (the 2D Kosterlitz-Thouless superfluid transition).
In this project helium in two-dimensions (2D) is investigated as a model system to tackle important questions in the field of strongly correlated quantum matter. Our approach is to manipulate atomically layered thin films of helium on graphite, and study these films at ultralow temperatures with diverse techniques.
Prior work has demonstrated: Mott-Hubbard transition in 2D 3He; frustrated magnetism on a triangular lattice; heavy fermion quantum criticality; intertwined superfluid and density wave order (2D supersolid).
This project will focus on the following topics: • survival of Fermi liquids in a strictly 2D strongly correlated system • interacting coupled 2D fermion-boson system • realization of a model quantum spin liquid in 2D 3He • intertwined superfluid and density wave order • studies of helium on graphene and associated technical developments
This project is based in the London Low Temperature Laboratory, Royal Holloway, which is part of the European Microkelvin Platform.