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Title: Electrical transport properties of URhGe and BiPd at very low temperature
Author: Barraclough, Jack Matthew
ISNI:       0000 0004 5348 5996
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2015
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URhGe has garnered interest recently as one of the few known ferromagnetic superconductors. The superconductivity in this material appears to arise from magnetic fluctuations rather than phonons, and take a triplet form which is remarkably resistant to field. In this thesis, a number of measurements on the material are presented. Some probe the Fermiology, with strong evidence appearing for a model which as both light open sheets and heavy, small, closed pockets. The open sheets, associated with chains of real-space electron density running along the b axis, dominate the conductivity in most circumstances. Evidence for their existence arises from the general large and non-saturating magnetoresistance, and from the unusual observation of negative temperature coefficient of resistance at high fields. The closed pockets have provided a few Shubnikov-de Haas oscillations, but mostly they remain inferred from the high specific heat γ and their role in the magnetism. In order to better probe the superconductivity, a high precision low noise DC resistance measurement bridge was built using a SQUID. Along with conventional measurements, this provides evidence that the two pockets of superconductivity on the phase diagram are the same phase. The re-entrance an be understood simply as a result of magnetic field being a tuning parameter, but also suppressing bulk superconductivity through orbital limiting. The SQUID bridge allowed the detection of domain wall superconductivity linking up these two pockets. The SQUID bridge was also used to study the highly structured superconducting transition in BiPd. This material lacks inversion symmetry in its crystal structure, so is a good candidate for unusual forms of superconductivity. Here again non-bulk superconductivity is considered the most likely cause for the structure. Unusual and distinctive IV curves have been measured, and a simple model of inhomogeneous conductivity channels with different critical currents is proposed as an explanation.
Supervisor: Yelland, Edward Alexander Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) ; Scottish Universities Physics Alliance ; Scottish Doctoral Training Centre in Condensed Matter Physics
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Physics ; Condensed matter ; URhGe ; BiPd ; Spin Orbit ; Superconductivity ; Shubnikov de Haas ; Magnetoresistance ; Unconventional superconductivity ; Domain wall superconductivity ; SQUID ; Resistance bridge ; Cryogenic ; Rotator ; Non-centrosymetric ; Magnetism ; Ferromagnetic ; Spin triplet