Spin-Orbit Interaction Spectroscopy

Our research focusses on the influence of spin-orbit interaction (SOI) on the novel electronic properties of materials and their investigation by SARPES and related techniques.
The activities of the group can be divided into three subsections and we are positioned in the forefront in each of them.

The first one concerns how SOI can induce novel physical phases. Examples of this are topological insulators, Weyl semimetals, and platforms for the creation of Majorana fermions.

The second topic is the so-called Rashba effect which allows for the control of the spin orientation without applying a magnetic field and is as such important for spintronics applications, with a particular focus on spin-orbitronics. Our research has played an important role in understanding and controlling this effect in model systems, and in recent years we have been able to make the step from model systems to those which approach applications.

The last subsection is the use of SARPES to explore the fundamental properties of matter. This relies on models developed several decades ago for the gas phase and localised electronic states, which we now for the first time applied to valence and conduction band states. As such this is a very young field harbouring great promise for the understanding of a variety of systems. We recently achieved a further breakthrough by using SARPES to explore the time scale of the photoemission process both in simple Cu and a high-temperature superconductor.

To extend our research possibilities we are constantly developing experimental techniques and their interpretation, such as a new type of multiplexing spin detector and a thorough description of spin interference processes.