Superconductivity provides a way to attain high efficiency energy storage and transmission, but industrial applications require new superconducting materials with desirable properties like high transition temperatures (Tc), large carrier densities and low anisotropy. In the two known families of high Tc superconductors – the cuprates and iron arsenides – superconductivity is induced by suppressing a symmetry breaking phase (e.g. antiferromagnetism) using chemical doping. In this proposed research I will follow a similar empirical strategy to look for superconductivity in the compound LaAgSb2 which hosts a symmetry breaking ground state, the charge density wave phase. I will investigate this compound by growing chemically substituted single crystals and characterizing their physical properties via electrical transport, thermodynamic and magnetic measurements. I will also map out a temperature-composition phase diagram, to shed light on the paring mechanism of superconductivity. Such research may allow us to custom design superconducting materials for varied energy purposes.
Advisor Jiun-Haw Chu -Physics