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Signatures of spin liquid behaviour in correlated quantum magnets

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Application details:
Reference number: IR/PH/2020
Start date of studentship: 1 October 2020
Closing date of advert: 14 February 2020

Primary supervisor: Ioannis Rousochatzakis
Secondary supervisor: Joseph Betouras
The aim of the project is to make headway in diagnosing spin liquid behaviour in existing materials, which is currently the central challenge in the field. This progress is indispensable for the future exploitation of these materials in quantum technologies and computing applications. The prospect of typicality and thermalisation working down to low temperatures in such systems can revolutionise the way we model correlated materials. The PhD student will endeavour into one of the most vibrant fields of condensed matter physics, acquire expertise in numerical methods, and work on experimentally driven problems of growing interest.
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.
Loughborough University has a flexible working and maternity/parental leave policy ( and is a Stonewall Diversity Champion providing a supportive and inclusive environment for the LGBT+ community. The University is also a member of the Race Equality Charter which aims to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students. The School of Science is a recipient of the Athena SWAN bronze award for gender equality.
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Full Project Detail:
According to Boltzmann statistics, matter tends to maximise its entropy at high T and minimize its energy at low T. A ferromagnet offers the simplest scenario for this battle between energy and entropy [1]: Below a characteristic temperature TC, the underlying array of spins minimize their energy by ordering along a common direction, whereas above TC spins fluctuate constantly in random directions. Spin liquid materials offer a much richer scenario, as their energy can be minimised in an infinite number of ways. At low T, such systems will therefore sample a macroscopic number of competing states and can thus evade ordering, opening the door for more exotic phases with long-range entanglement and fractionalized excitations [2,3]. This project will explore the experimental signatures of such systems by testing the so-called typicality hypothesis [4] in a number of realistic models, using numerical exact diagonalization techniques.
1. L. Onsager, Phys. Rev. 65, 117 (1944)
2. L. Balents, Nature 464, 199 (2010)
3. I. Rousochatzakis, Y. Sizyuk, N. B. Perkins, Nat. Commun. 9, 1575 (2018)
4. I. Rousochatzakis, S. Kourtis, J. Knolle, R. Moessner, N. B. Perkins, PRB 100, 045117 (2019)

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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: Physics.

Funding information:
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 £15,009 (2019 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. This studentship is only available to those who are eligible to pay UK/EU fees.
Contact details:
Name: Ioannis Rousochatzakis
Email address:
Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 223303

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Physics.
Please quote reference number: IR/PH/2020.


1. L. Onsager, Phys. Rev. 65, 117 (1944)
2. L. Balents, Nature 464, 199 (2010)
3. I. Rousochatzakis, Y. Sizyuk, N. B. Perkins, Nat. Commun. 9, 1575 (2018)
4. I. Rousochatzakis, S. Kourtis, J. Knolle, R. Moessner, N. B. Perkins, PRB 100, 045117 (2019)

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