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An investigation into topological and exotic quantum states under extreme conditions (InvestInTopQuantEx)


The aim of this proposal is to add new areas of research in the Institute of Physics of the University of São Paulo (IF-USP). This proposal covers the investigation of topologically nontrivial and exotic quantum phases in strongly correlated electron systems (SCES) close to a quantum phase transition and, the setting of physical property measurements under multiple extreme conditions: very high pressure (up to 200 kbar), very low temperature (down to 0.05 K), intensive magnetic fields (up to 20 T) on ultra-clean bulk and nanostructured materials. The materials to be investigated in this proposal are currently at the forefront of SCES: the cubic heavy fermion compound Ce3Pd20Si6, the Kondo insulator CeRu4Sn6, the quantum paramagnet SrCu2(BO3)2, the insulator SrTiO3, the semiconductor FeGa3. In order to investigate all these materials, new experimental methods working under extreme conditions will be installed in IF-USP: specific heat, magnetic susceptibility, electrical transport and thermal transport (thermopower, thermal conductivity, Nernst effect), all of them working under multiple extreme conditions. In addition, nanoparticles of FeGa3 in thin films and powder will be produced in IF-USP in order to address open question about the enhancement of thermoelectricity in nanoscopic systems and its application for energy harvesting. The results outcome from this project would contribute to the field of hot topics in condensed matter physics as well as to empower the Research Institutes of Sao Paulo state, in particular, forming a new research group devoted to the production of functional quantum materials and to the setting of experimental methods beyond the state-of-the art. Besides, the funding provided by FAPESP within this call would relevantly help to consolidate the independent research career of Prof. Dr. Larrea, who is the responsible of this proposal (he enrolled in IF-USP since middle January 2018). (AU)

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