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New Physics Sandwiched Between Two Oxide Insulators By Dr. Karen Michaeli

Her lecture notes: The continuous search for novel electronic and spintronic devices recently came to fruition in the form of oxide interfaces. Combining two boring oxide insulators can result in an unexpected highly-conducting layer at the interface. At present, similar conducting layers are used with great success in silicon-based computer chips. However, the oxide interfaces exhibit a much larger variety of phenomena, which may lead to additional applications, particularly in the field of spintronics. Most strikingly, oxide interfaces can simultaneously be superconducting and ferromagnetic. Coexistence of ferromagnetism and superconductivity is surprising, since these phenomena usually destroy each other. We constructed a model of the electronic structure of the oxide interfaces that explains their unusual properties. In particular, we find that in order to survive the harmful effects of ferromagnetism, the superconductor is substantially different from conventional ones.

Karen Michaeli completed her Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science in the summer of  2010. While there, she worked with Prof. Alexander Finkel’stein on thermal and thermoelectric transport phenomena in the presence of electron-electron interaction and disorder. As a part of her Ph.D. thesis, Michaeli developed a new theoretical apparatus for analyzing thermal and thermoelectric transport using the quantum kinetic equation. She used this approach to show that the strong Nernst effect observed recently in amorphous superconducting films above the critical temperature (as well as for magnetic fields considerably exceeding Hc2) is caused by the fluctuations of the superconducting order parameter.

Michaeli earned her M.Sc. from the Weizmann Institute of Science in 2006 on the study of the suppression of the tunneling rate of superconducting vortices caused by magnetic coupling to a remote metallic gate.

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June 21, 2012 17:21
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