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Announcements of Opportunity

SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor. Click here for more tips on finding a mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

New for 2021: Students applying for JPL projects should complete a SURF@JPL application instead of a "regular" SURF application.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be
U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

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Project:  "Quantum Fabrics" based on Ultra-Thin Cuprate Superconductors
Disciplines:  Applied Physics, Engineering and Applied Science
Mentor:  Darrell Schlom, Herbert Fisk Johnson Prof. of Industrial Chemistry, (EAS), schlom@cornell.edu, Phone: 607-255-6504
Mentor URL:  http://schlom.mse.cornell.edu  (opens in new window)
Background:  NOTE: This project is being offered by a Caltech alum and will be conducted at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Only Caltech students are eligible for this project. Additionally, due to the funding source supporting this project, students must be U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

An exciting opportunity in quantum materials is to weave new “quantum fabrics” with tailored functionalities which arise by intertwining different quantum materials. Many new quantum technologies demand materials with properties that typically do not exist in bulk compounds, for instance, topological superconductors or quasiparticles with non-Abelian statistics. This is often because such properties may arise from multiple states that might normally be in competition with one another in a single compound. By weaving together “threads” with different properties, such as superconductivity or magnetism, our PARADIM team (which will include you) is working to realize quantum fabrics with novel electronic, magnetic, topological, or a mixture of such textures and with functionalities that do not exist in bulk and could play an important role in future quantum technologies.
Description:  As a SURF student, you will be an integral member of our research team working to investigate the boundary conditions enabling a high temperature superconductor to retain its superconducting properties all the way down to the thickness of a single formula unit, i.e., a single monolayer. At first you will gain familiarity with the characterization techniques you will be using to assess the structural and electronic properties of ultra-thin superconducting layers that are being created by your co-mentor using molecular-beam epitaxy (MBE). Once you have learned the operational details of x-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy, and resistivity vs. temperature measurements, you will measure the films being grown by your co-mentor to provide important feedback allowing optimized conditions to be found for the growth of ultra-thin cuprate superconductors. You will brainstorm together to gain understanding of the connection between the structure and properties of the materials made and devise a route to create ultra-thin superconducting fabrics.
References:  Y.E. Suyolcu, J. Sun, B.H. Goodge, J. Park, J. Schubert, L.F. Kourkoutis, and D.G. Schlom, “a-Axis YBa2Cu3O7–x/PrBa2Cu3O7–x/YBa2Cu3O7–x Trilayers with Subnanometer rms Roughness,” APL Materials 9 (2021) 021117.
Y. Yu, L. Ma, P. Cai, R. Zhong, C. Ye, J. Shen, G. D. Gu, X. H. Chen and Y. Zhang, “High-Temperature Superconductivity in Monolayer Bi2Sr2CaCu2O8+?,” Nature 575 (2019) 156–163.
Student Requirements:  Familiarity with electricity and magnetism (Ph 1b,c or equivalent) and fundamentals of x-ray diffraction (MS 90 or APh 77, or equivalent)
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       SURF    Caltech students only 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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