We synthesize new materials by using box furnaces in temperatures up to 1500 oC. Those are commonly used due to easy access to the interior and large sample space, which is convenient where large amounts of material are necessary. In our laboratory there are 16 box furnaces available.
This furnace is used to synthesise materials requiring a controlled atmosphere (oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen), which is not feasible in box furnaces.
Some materials can be obtained by inducing an electric arc discharge to heating and melting starting materials. The system is mainly used for intermetallics with high melting temperatures.
If a material is unstable at its melting point or has a high vapour pressure, we can carry out synthesis by crystallization from an aqueous solution under high pressure and high temperature.
Tube sealing station
When the use of controlled atmosphere in a tube furnace is insufficient for material synthesis, for example in the case of air-sensitive precursors and products, we seal our samples in quartz tubes under inert atmosphere using a torch before the synthesis.
In order to develop new materials, we utilise high-pressure and high-temperature furnaces at Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research. We can reach pressures up to 12 GPa in temperatures as high as 1500 °C, which enables us to explore metastable phases of materials unavailable in standard conditions. For details, see here.
The glove box is filled with inert argon gas for handling air-sensitive chemicals. This system is critical for obtaining new exotic materials, which can often host uncommon transition metal valence states unstable in air.
Characterisation and physical properties
X-ray powder diffraction is used for structural characterization and phase identification of new materials. For detailed structural analysis, we are collaborating with the X-ray Diffraction Facility Group at Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research.
Quantum Design 5T MPMS (Magnetic Property Measurement System)
We can perform accurate DC magnetization measurements by using Superconducting QUantum Interference Device (SQUID) from 400 to 2 K in magnetic fields up to 5 T. We use this device to explore long-range magnetic ordering, superconductivity and quantum spin liquid state.
Quantum Design 9T PPMS (Physical Property Measurement System)
This instrument is used for measurement of transport, magnetic and thermodynamic properties of materials, such as resistivity, thermal transport, magnetization and heat capacity in the range from 400 to 2 K in magnetic fields up to 9 T. We use this facility to detect phase transitions such as metal-to-insulator transition and superconductivity.
Quantum Design 9T PPMS 2
Additionally we have a new PPMS available, where we can measure resistivity and heat capacity in temperature range from 400 to 1.8 K and magnetic fields up to 9 T.
Glove box 2
We have an additional glovebox with a thermal evaporation system, which we use for metal deposition and contact fabrication on samples.