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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M028771/1
Title: Single Crystal Growth at Warwick
Principal Investigator: Balakrishnan, Professor G
Other Investigators:
Lees, Professor MR Petrenko, Dr OA Paul, Professor DM
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Physics
Organisation: University of Warwick
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 July 2015 Ends: 30 June 2018 Value (£): 514,769
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
13 May 2015 EPSRC Physical Sciences Physics - May 2015 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
In the study of problems that arise in condensed matter physics, high quality single crystals are essential. A number of materials of interest tend to exhibit anisotropic behaviour, either as a result of their crystal structure and interactions or as a consequence of the application of magnetic fields or pressure. The underlying physics of such materials can only be unravelled by investigations on high quality crystals. Single crystal growth is of strategic importance for the study of the physics of condensed matter within UK laboratories. Competition in this field is strong between groups in Europe, Japan and the USA.

The Warwick single crystal growth effort has been operating successfully for over two decades satisfying both in-house and external demand for single crystal specimens of a very wide range of materials. Our experience in this field which has been built up over many years allows us to be at the forefront of investigations of the properties of new and exotic materials as soon as they are discovered.

The work of the Superconductivity and Magnetism Group Warwick centres on the investigation of strongly correlated electron systems. The use of in-house experimentation on single crystals, complemented by studies at central facilities using techniques such as neutron and x-ray scattering, muon spectroscopy as well as ARPES and measurements in high magnetic fields enables us to adopt a multi-pronged approach to the study of a range of materials. These studies are used to arrive at a unified picture of the physics of the materials of interest.

We propose to expand on our capabilities to tackle the crystal growth of several newly discovered materials, building on our extremely successful crystal growth activities. We will produce high quality single crystals of oxides, selenides, silicides, borides, inter-metallics and related materials. These include various low-dimensional and frustrated magnets, rare earth based magnetic materials, 2D/layered materials, helimagnetic materials, exotic superconductors and topological insulators. For crystal growth by the floating zone technique, we will use the three optical mirror furnaces that we have at Warwick (two halogen lamp furnaces and one xenon arc lamp furnace). The optical mirror furnaces allow us to grow crystals under different growth conditions including various gas atmospheres, in pressures of up to 10 bars and at temperatures of up to 3000 C. Alternative techniques such as flux growth, Bridgman growth and chemical vapour transport will be used for the growth of single crystal materials when the floating zone technique is not suitable. The Czochralski technique will be used to produce single crystals of inter metallic materials using the tetra-arc furnace.

The single crystals grown are to be used in all of our EPSRC funded work. As in the past, the crystals will also be made available to other researchers within the UK and internationally. The crystal growth programme supports an extremely wide collaborative network that we have built up over many years. The work continues to stimulate the formation of new collaborations and benefits the wider materials and physics community in the UK and internationally.

Key Findings
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.warwick.ac.uk