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Title: Muon stopping sites in magnetic systems from density functional theory
Author: Huddart, Benjamin Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 8501 6828
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis concerns the use of density functional theory (DFT) to determine muon stopping sites in crystalline solids. New tools for carrying out these calculations are introduced and these techniques are demonstrated through the results of calculations on the skyrmion-hosting semiconductors GaV₄S₈ and GaV₄S₈ and the heavy-fermion metals URu₂Si₂ and CeRu₂Si₂. The results of three studies on significantly different magnetic systems are presented, where in each case the interpretation of the results of muon-spin spectroscopy (μ⁺SR) experiments is aided by knowledge of the muon site. The results of μ⁺SR measurements on the iron-pnictide compound FeCrAs are presented and indicate a magnetically ordered phase throughout the material below T_N =105(5) K. There are signs of fluctuating magnetism in a narrow range of temperatures above T_N involving low-energy excitations, while at temperatures well below T_N a characteristic freezing of dynamics is observed. Using DFT, a distinct muon stopping site is proposed for this system. The results of transverse-field (TF) μ⁺SR measurements on the molecular spin ladder compound (Hpip)₂CuBr₄, [Hpip=(C₅H₁₂N)] are reported. Characteristic behaviour in each of the regions of the phase diagram is identified in the TF μ⁺SR spectra. Analysis of the muon stopping sites, calculated using DFT, suggests that the muon plus its local distortion can lead to a local probe unit with good sensitivity to the magnetic state. Finally, the results of μ⁺SR measurements on the charge density wave system 1T-TaS₂ are presented, which show three distinct phases versus temperature. The critical exponents for each of these phases are compared with the predictions of quantum spin liquid models. Using DFT, a quantum delocalised state for the muon between the TaS₂ layers is proposed, which is used in conjunction with its associated hyperfine interactions to determine the coupling of the muon to the diffusing spinons.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available