Ames Laboratory
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Welcome to our web page, where you may learn about who we are and what we do as part of the Condensed Matter Physics Group of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Iowa State University and of the Division of Material Science and Engineering at Ames Laboratory (a U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) facility). Our group of faculty, staff, post-docs, graduate and undergraduate students is mostly dedicated to the design, discovery, growth and characterization of novel electronic and magnetic compounds - often in single crystal form - and the study of their interesting physical properties.

Here are four of our general review articles:

Click for PDF file (3,934KB)
Physics Today - October 1998

"New Magnetic Superconductors:
A Toy Box for Solid-State Physicists"
Click for PDF file (347KB)
Physics World - January 2002

"Magnesium Diboride:
one year on"
Click for PDF file (1,743KB)
Physics Today - March 2003

"Magnesium Diboride:
Better Late than Never"
Click for PDF file (855KB)
Scientific American - April 2005

"Low Temperature Superconductivity
Is Warming Up"

Recent research interests (in no particular order):

  1. Correlated Electron Systems: Compounds such as PrInAg2, Ce3Bi4Pt3, YbBiPt, YbNi2B2C, Yb14MnSb11, YbNi2Ge2, CeNi2Ge2, YbAgGe, YbPtIn, YbT2Zn20, CeT2Zn20 (T = transition metal) in which conduction band electrons interact strongly with each other and with local magnetic moments.

  2. Borocarbide Superconductors: Discovered in 1994, these compounds with general formula RNi2B2C, where R is a Rare Earth Element, display a rich variety of physical phenomena, including the coexistence of magnetic ordering and superconductivity. See the review article above.

  3. Magnesium Diboride: Discovered in January 2001, the superconductor MgB2 holds the record TC~40 K among all binary compounds, and has been subject of intense academic and applied research. Click here to see an interview with Paul Canfield on magnesium diboride superconductors, by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Also see the review articles above.

  4. Quasicrystals: Certain compounds in the Al-Ga-Pd-Mn, Al-Ni-Co and R-Mg-Zn (R = = Rare Earth element) systems can be grown in a well organized but non-periodic single grain structure, and consequently display unusual physical properties compared to true crystalline lattices.

  5. Metallic Spin-Glass Systems: Compounds such as (Gd1-xYbx)Ni2B2C, (Y1-xTbx)Ni2Ge2 and R3Mg51Zn46 (R = Rare Earth element) which are candidate model systems for testing spin-glass theories.

  6. Metamagnetic Systems: Compounds such as TbPtIn, TbNi2Ge2, DyAgSb2, HoNi2B2C, featuring rich magnetic phase diagrams with many possible arrangements of the antiferromagnetically ordered moments.

  7. Other Intermetallic Systems: Compounds such as RAgGe, RFe2Ge2, RCo2Ge2, RNi2Ge2, RAgSb2, RSb2, RAgBi2, RCo2, RAl2, RPtIn (R = Rare Earth element), and any other system with novel, interesting or unusual ground states, or whose physical properties have not yet been well established.

  8. Fe-As superconductors: Compounds such as RFeAs(O1-xFx), pure and doped AFe2As2 (R = Rare Earth element, A = Ca, Sr, Ba), featuring superconductivity at temperatures in excess of 50 K.


  1. Gourmet Cooking: This a natural extension of the group's interest in synthesis and studies of complex materials. Click here to see some of our favorite recipes.

  2. Suggested Reading: Subjective, personal and constantly changing "must-read" list compiled by the members of the group (limited to the English language publications).

  3. Goodies: Five Motivations ; Periodic Table ; "Rhinestone Cowboys" by Diana Lutz; "Ice Spikes" by Jacob Canfield

  4. Joe Thompson's Fest: Photos

  5. CMP as seen by Prof. Paul C. Canfield. (So-Close project) link

  6. High Impact Factor Syndrome. link SF Declaration on Research Assessment. link

  7. Phys 590B Special Topics Condensed Matter Physics - Experimental Methods: Click here for syllabus and lecture presentations

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Last Update: October 19, 2014 by S.L.Bud'ko