Abstract by Nicolas Ducharme
Physics and Astronomy
Connections between magnetic correlations and local crystalline structure in two dilute magnetic semiconductors
Dilute magnetic semiconductors (DMSs) are of interest to physicists and materials scientists due to their potential applications in spintronics and quantum computing. The research I will present is not directly aimed at spintronic or quantum computing applications. Rather, it is aimed at understanding the detailed atomic and magnetic structure of DMSs, which will enable a more fundamental understanding of their properties and facilitate future applications. Two DMSs, Li(Zn,Mn)As and (Ba,K)(Zn,Mn)2As2 were investigated experimentally, with the data analyzed via pair distribution function (PDF) analysis of x-ray and neutron scattering data. Li(Zn,Mn)As was found to lack local structural deviations and short-range magnetic order, while (Ba,K)(Zn,Mn)2As2 was found to have both. These findings suggest that useful magnetic correlations are connected to local structural deviations.