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Mikel Holcomb: Ways to Collaborate and a New Type of Magnetism

Associate Professor
Department of Physics & Astronomy
West Virginia University

In many areas of materials science and economics, competition is seen as an opportunity to obtain improved performance. Utilizing many techniques (bulk magnetometry, neutron reflectometry and resonant x-ray magnetic scattering), we have discovered and explored the existence of competing magnetic phases in many single layer thin films that results in giant negative magnetization. We have focused on the system of complex oxide La0.7Sr0.3MnO3. While transmission electron microscopy images show pristine epitaxial growth, the data supports that there are regions of different magnetic order. This results in interesting magnetic measurements that share similarities with ferrimagnets with competing magnetic lattices. This competition results in spontaneous giant negative magnetization that aligns counter to a small applied magnetic field and inverted hysteresis loops near room temperature. I will also discuss our specialty in element specific measurements and highlight some examples as a way to illustrate and emphasize our interest in forming collaborations.