PhD positions

There are currently PhD positions available.

  • Single embedded magnetic atoms. Strong correlations and spinorbit interactions as basis for ultimately small quantum devices
  • Atomistic theory of impurities and correlations in two dimensional materials

For further details please contact Prof. T. Wehling (wehling - at -

The recently proposed concept of a Hund's metal—a metal in which electron correlations are driven by Hund's rule coupling—can be used to explain the exotic magnetic and electronic behaviour of strongly correlated electron systems of multi-orbital metallic materials. Tuning the abundance of parameters that determine these materials is, however, experimentally challenging. Here, we show that the basic constituent of a Hund's metal—a Hund's impurity—can be realized using a single iron atom adsorbed on a platinum surface, a system that comprises a magnetic moment in the presence of strong charge fluctuations. The magnetic properties can be controlled by using the tip of a scanning tunnelling microscope to change the binding site and degree of hydrogenation of the 3d transition-metal atom. We are able to experimentally explore a regime of four almost degenerate energy scales (Zeeman energy, temperature, Kondo temperature and magnetic anisotropy) and probe the magnetic excitations with the microscope tip. The regime of our Hund's impurity can be tuned from an emergent magnetic moment to a multi-orbital Kondo state, and the system could be used to test predictions of advanced many-body theories for non-Fermi liquids in quantum magnets or unconventional superconductors.

We introduce an approach to derive realistic Coulomb interaction terms in freestanding layered materials and vertical heterostructures from ab initio modeling of the corresponding bulk materials. To this end, we establish a combination of calculations within the framework of the constrained random-phase approximation, Wannier function representation of Coulomb matrix elements within some low-energy Hilbert space, and continuum medium electrostatics, which we call Wannier function continuum electrostatics (WFCE). For monolayer and bilayer graphene we reproduce full ab initio calculations of the Coulomb matrix elements within an accuracy of 0.3 eV or better. We show that realistic Coulomb interactions in bilayer graphene can be manipulated on the eV scale by different dielectric and metallic environments. A comparison to electronic phase diagrams derived in M. M. Scherer et al. [Phys. Rev. B 85, 235408 (2012)] suggests that the electronic ground state of bilayer graphene is a layered antiferromagnet and remains surprisingly unaffected by these strong changes in the Coulomb interaction.