My research focuses on the creation and control of novel electronic phases of matter in metals, semiconductors, and insulators. Recently my work has centred on low dimensional systems, including low-density high-mobility two-dimensional superconductors, and ultrathin ferromagnets. Understanding how these two types of long range order, which usually do not exist together in nature, combine and interact is another key area of interest.
I use field-effect gating geometries, precise thin film heterostructures, proximity effects and photoconductivity to induce and continuously tune the electronic properties of these systems. Since the materials science and chemistry of these materials, their interfaces and surfaces, is vital to control and understand in these systems, the research spans a broad range of disciplines. The samples are typically characterized at low temperatures and high magnetic fields, and hence the studies fundamental in nature. These underlying aims feed into the global community’s aspirations of creating new functional materials and devices for future applications.
I completed my Ph.D. in the Materials Science Department of Cambridge University in 2004, and continued as a post-doc for one year. There I was fabricating nanoscale all-metallic Josephson junctions with a range of magnetic materials as barriers. I then moved to the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, for two years, continuing to work on superconductor / ferromagnet proximity effects, in particular dynamic effects in the microwave regime. I was a Canon Foundation in Europe Fellow at The University of Tokyo, Japan, from 2007 to 2008, then a post-doc there until 2010, when I became a Research Assistant Professor. I worked on a range of materials and topics using highly epitaxial transition oxide thin films. Much of that work was related to superconductivity and emergent magnetism in two-dimensionally confined SrTiO3 electron gases, which simultaneously show high electron mobility in the low-density regime, allowing the observation of two-dimensional Shubnikov-de Haas quantum oscillations. From May 2011 I moved to the USA, where I was an Associate Staff Scientist at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, California, continuing to work on oxides. I joined the University of Bristol in September 2013.
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