Spencer Doyle

Tuning Magnetic Ordering in Intercalated Transition Metal Dichalcogenides

Transition metal dichalcogenides make up a class of 2D semiconductors that are of high interest in the field of condensed matter currently. I plan on synthesizing two primary intercalated versions of these compounds: Fe(1/3)NbS2 and Fe(1/3)TaS2. These two compounds have competing magnetic orderings (antiferromagnetism and ferromagnetism respectively), so what happens in a hybrid material where both Nb and Ta are present? The Fe sites in Fe(1/3)NbS2 already host frustrated moments, but by incorporating some ferromagnetic ordering from the Ta compound, the frustration can be tweaked. Frustration is one of the key ingredients of a sought after class of materials, quantum spin liquids (QSLs). At the very least, looking at the crossover region from AFM to FM in these compounds will provide us with information about competing energy scales in 2D, and allow us to study the dichalcogenides in the presence of a range of magnetic orderings.

Message to Sponsor

The McKinley Fund allowed me to have the most productive summer I've ever had. I accomplished more in my research than I thought possible as an undergraduate. Thanks to the SURF program, I am currently working on a draft of my very first first-name paper for publication. This summer has confirmed for me my passion for physics research, and thus my future plans of pursuing a Ph.D. in physics.
  • Major: Physics
  • Sponsor: McKinley Fund
  • Mentor: James Analytis