Strain engineering of magnetic and electronic transport properties in thin uranium-based films


This proposal is devoted to the study of substrate-imposed strain effects on properties of thin films of unconventional superconductors with the main focus placed on the recently discovered compound UTe2. All studies on these materials available to date were performed on bulk and single-crystalline specimens. UTe2 with a non-magnetic ground state, displays rich physics which is extremely sensitive to the external variables such as temperature, magnetic field or pressure. The latter can be mimicked by inducing strain in thin films, both tensile or compressive. Strain can serve as a driving force towards to or, on the contrary, further away from magnetic instability in UTe2. We will deploy a broad range of techniques both macro- and microscopic (XPS, XRD, TEM, RBS, SQUID) to acquire understanding of the relevant structure-property relationships. Ultimately, we intend to master the state of the material, magnetic and/or superconducting, by choosing a suitable substrate.