Otto Hahn Medaille: Congratulations to Dr. Mark Barber 

April 20, 2018

We are delighted to announce that Mark Barber from the Physics of Quantum Materials department has been awarded an Otto Hahn Medaille by the Max Planck Society for his doctoral thesis research. 

For his University of St Andrews doctorate, under the supervision of Prof. Andy Mackenzie and Dr. Clifford Hicks, Mark performed outstanding experimental work on applying uniaxial pressure to unconventional superconductors.  His main project was on Sr2RuO4, which he showed can traverse a topological Lifshitz transition under the application of pressures high enough to change a tetragonal lattice parameter by approximately 0.6% [1].  He also performed collaborative work studying metamagnetism in the related compound Sr3Ru2O7 [2], and experiments in which the a axis lattice parameter of the high temperature superconductor YBa2Cu3O7 was compressed by as much as 1.3%.  Mark’s work is characterized by ingenuity and self-reliance.  In addition to successfully executing a series of complex transport and magnetic measurements on tiny strained single crystals [1,3], he made key contributions to the development of the pressure devices on which the work was performed and set up a whole new laboratory for the experiments [4].  If numerical calculations were needed, he wrote the required software from scratch, and if electronics of the required specifications were not commercially available, he designed and built them himself.  All these contributions were brought together in a top-quality PhD thesis, richly deserving of this medal.

Barber, M. E.; Gibbs, A. S.; Maeno, Y.; Mackenzie, A. P.; Hicks, C. W.: Resistivity in the Vicinity of a van Hove Singularity: Sr2RuO4 under Uniaxial Pressure. Physical Review Letters 120 (7), 076602, pp. 1 - 6 (2018)
Brodsky, D. O.; Barber, M. E.; Bruin, J. A. N.; Borzi, R. A.; Grigera, S. A.; Perry, R. S.; Mackenzie, A. P.; Hicks, C. W.: Strain and vector magnetic field tuning of the anomalous phase in Sr3Ru2O7. Science Advances 3 (2), e1501804, pp. 1 - 9 (2017)
Steppke, A.; Zhao, L.; Barber, M. E.; Scaffidi, T.; Jerzembeck, F.; Rosner, H.; Gibbs, A. S.; Maeno, Y.; Simon, S. H.; Mackenzie, A. P. et al.; Hicks, C. W.: Strong peak in Tc of Sr2RuO4 under uniaxial pressure. Science 355 (6321), eaaf9398, pp. 1 - 8 (2017)
Hicks, C. W.; Barber, M. E.; Edkins, S. D.; Brodsky, D. O.; Mackenzie, A. P.: Piezoelectric-based apparatus for strain tuning. Review of Scientific Instruments 85 (6), 065003, pp. 1 - 8 (2014)


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