Materials systems with many strongly interacting degrees of freedom can host some of the most exotic physical states known, ranging from superconductivity to topological phases.
One of the hallmarks of these quantum materials is the ability for a small perturbation to dramatically change the ground state. In thin films, the interface between two distinct materials forms a playground to engineer such emergent states. Specifically—and in contrast to bulk crystals—such an abrupt heterointerface can utilize the broken symmetry/reduced dimensionality inherent to the interface as well as induce chemical potential offsets, epitaxial strain and provide proximity to functional phases.
Work in the Mundy group will design, synthesize and probe such emergent phenomena in complex oxide thin films. Initial efforts will be particularly focused on using thin film epitaxy to construct metastable materials, with an emphasis on materials with strong spin frustration/exotic magnetic properties and novel superconductors.